French for "end of the century", it refers specifically to the end of the 19th century, and its contemporary art movements of Symbolism, Decadence, and Art Nouveau. It connotes absinthe, edible hashish, sick men, and naked, predatory women.

Fin` de siè"cle (?). [F.]

Lit., end of the century; -- mostly used adjectively in English to signify: belonging to, or characteristic of, the close of the 19th century; modern; "up- to-date;" as, fin-de-siècle ideas.

 

© Webster 1913

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