As a child you must have been sacred of dark figures. The picture that comes to mind with the word is that of a figure in a flowing gown, cigarette in hand and smoke from mouth walking across, outside the windows in a cold night. The interesting part for this word is that it can be used as both Noun and Verb.
First known usage of silhouette dates back to 1783 and its origin is credited to the short existence of a French controller Etienne de Silhouette in 1767.
The dictionary definitions for silhouette are as follows:
As a Noun
1) The outline/ shape of an object or a person
2) A dark image against a light background.
3) Outline of an object or person drawn on a sheet or canvas
As a Verb with an object
1) To show in a silhouette
2) To Project .i.e. to cause to appear as a silhouette
Master tip to learn Silhouette:
As silhouette is pronounced (sil-oo-et) it can easily be associated with the word Sylvette, which is basically a name. Sylvette can also be remembers easily as title of the portrait of a young girl that was brushed on the canvas by Pablo Picasso.
Silhouette can be used in following ways:
1) Very often I see a dark silhouette walking across outside my windows in the night. (Noun)
2) Dancers danced behind the screen, which showed their silhouettes to the audience. (Verb)
3) Painter silhouetted his wife on canvas. (Verb)