I would like to know if, in the US, people say vitrine/vitrines like window shopping.

In France usually they say "vitrine" as window shopping. And English has some mix of French words too. So, I would like to know.

  • Where did you read or hear it?
    – user3169
    May 14, 2016 at 20:49
  • in france usually they say vitrine as window shopping. and in english have some mix of french words too. so, i would like to know. thank's
    – Daniel
    May 14, 2016 at 21:00
  • It is originally a French word. The corresponding word for it in English is window. American corpus (corpus.byu.edu) shows it is not of high frequency in English. The word you asked does not mean "window shopping" in any of the sentences there.
    – user33000
    May 14, 2016 at 21:12
  • thank you very much @sina, but in any case i can say see some vitrines if i where in us?
    – Daniel
    May 14, 2016 at 22:01
  • You can. But as I said, it is not common to use this word. So some people would have difficaulty understanding it.
    – user33000
    May 15, 2016 at 6:57

1 Answer 1


As I understand the word and its origin, vitrine refers to a glass display case inside a store, such as where jewelry might be displayed.

The meaning of "window shopping" is different. This is when you are walking outside stores and looking thru windows that display merchandise. The intent is that you are looking but not buying, and not interested in going into the store at that point.

So no, the meanings are different. As for vitrine, it is unlikely that it would be used or understood in the US. (I have never used it, and had to look it up.) And it won't have the meaning you intend, in any case.

  • A good explanation! Incidentally, in Russian the word for a glass display case or for a large window behind which a shop's goods are displayed is "витрина" (vitrina), a borrowing from French. May 15, 2016 at 4:06

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