Meaning of belles-lettres

belles-let•tres

Pronunciation: (Fr. bel-le'tr), [key]
— n.pl.
  1. literature regarded as a fine art, esp. as having a purely aesthetic function.
  2. light and elegant literature, esp. that which is excessively refined, characterized by aestheticism, and minor in subject, substance, or scope.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.