1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Chic

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CHIC (a French word, either a shortened form of chicane, or derived from the Ger. Schick, tact or skill), a term properly used, in French artistic slang, of a work of art possessing brilliant but superficial technical ability, or of one executed without reference to a model or study of nature. The use of the word in French dates from the reign of Louis XIV. and then denoted a lawyer who was master of “chicane.” “Chic,” in general use, now connotes “smartness,” in dress, speech, &c.