roman à clef

noun ro·man à clef \rō-ˌmä(ⁿ)n-(ˌ)ä-ˈklā\
plural romans à clef \-ˌmäⁿ-(ˌ)zä-\

Definition of ROMAN À CLEF

:  a novel in which real persons or actual events figure under disguise

Origin of ROMAN À CLEF

French, literally, novel with a key
First Known Use: 1893


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