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the belle of the ball

cliché The woman who draws the most attention in a certain social situation. Honey, in this beautiful prom gown, you'll be the belle of the ball!
See also: ball, belle, of
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

belle of the ball

the most admired and successful woman on a particular occasion.
The belle of the ball was originally the girl or woman regarded as the most beautiful and popular at a dance.
See also: ball, belle, of
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

belle of the ball, the

The most beautiful or most popular person present. The word belle, for “beautiful woman,” came into English directly from French in the early seventeenth century. After balls and similar grand social occasions became relatively rare, the original meaning—the reigning beauty at a dance—was widened to include the outstanding individual (male or female) at virtually any gathering. Today the term is often used ironically, for someone who would like to be so regarded.
See also: belle, of
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer

belle of the ball

The most appealing woman at a dance or another social occasion. “Ball” refers to a formal dance, at which there was usually one female who was the cynosure of all male eyes. At other occasions too—case in point: Scarlett O'Hara at the barbecue at Tara where men fell all over themselves to fetch her a plate of food. Fiddle-dee-dee indeed.
See also: ball, belle, of
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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References in periodicals archive ?
The heartbreaking announcement about her death, made byher family, said: "Our brave Belle sadly lost her fight and passed away peacefully on the 5th April.
Belle, whose mum described as "10 going on 18", had also decided she didn't need the money she and her supporters raised - instead insisting [pounds sterling]30,000 was donated in her name to five different charities.
For more information or to schedule an interview with the Bible Belles team, contact Laura Blank (, 646-245-2496).
"The Belles rehearse from 7.30-10pm every Wednesday at Nettle Hill Conference Centre, Ansty, and are always happy to welcome new singers to join in with us.
This only spurned on the Belles and within five minutes they were in front again with striker Sarah Thompson showing great skill evading the tackles of four East Durham players before shooting, only to see the goalkeeper scramble her shot away.
As the wagon glides north again towards Market Street, the intoxicating aroma of chili-cheese burgers, French fries, and chili dogs lure the Belles to Ed's Drive-In, Pascagoula's well-known hamburger hangout.
He cited "la belle fin" of Louis VI in 1137; the "saints derniers propos" of Philip the Fair in 1314; "l'humilite exemplaire, & fiance feruente enuers son createur" shown by Francois I in 1547 and recorded by Pierre du Chastel; and the "Enseignements" of Saint Louis to his son that Joinville recorded (which Du Tillet quoted in full).
She recalls that when one of the men at work brought his daughter to a Belles game, she thought, "It must be great to have a little girl watch the game and think, Wow.
Festival organisers have been sworn to secrecy about who will be Daniel's 'Belle of the Ball' when he takes to the stage in his home village of Kincasslagh this Sunday night.
"The Belles recorded tracks for the project as have staff from the hospital, and aims to release the single on March 31 just before Mothering Sunday.
That took the game into extra time with the Belles now playing with more confidence, and it was showing with the girls playing some neat passing football resulting in the move of the match; a strong header won in midfield by Kirsy Flynn, controlled first time by Lauren
Everyone's absolutely thrilled." The 28-year-old NHS data analyst is one of 38 ladies in the Belles.
The special sneak peek of the classic tale of Beauty And The Beast kicks off with Belle picking up a large stick and entering a castle.
Starring Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast, the trailer gives us a good look at the characters in their world and it's easy to see that the new film is staying faithful to the classic, something director Bill Condon has confirmed.