Definition of belles-lettres noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

belles-lettres

 noun
noun
BrE BrE//ˌbel ˈletrə//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˌbel ˈletrə//
 
[uncountable + singular or plural verb](from French, old-fashioned)
 
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studies or writings on the subject of literature or art, contrasted with those on technical or scientific subjects Word Origin mid 17th cent.: from French, literally ‘fine letters’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: belles-lettres