\ ā-ˈklä How to pronounce éclat (audio) , ˈā-ˌklä \

Definition of éclat

1 : ostentatious display : publicity
2 : dazzling effect : brilliance
3a : brilliant or conspicuous success

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The History of Éclat

Éclat burst onto the scene in English in the 17th century. The word derives from French, where it can mean "splinter" (the French idiom voler en éclats means "to fly into pieces") as well as "burst" (un éclat de rire means "a burst of laughter"), among other things. The "burst" sense is reflected in the earliest English sense of the word, meaning "ostentatious display or publicity." This sense found its own idiomatic usage in the phrase "to make an éclat," which at one time meant "to create a sensation." By the 1740s, éclat took on the additional meaning of "applause or acclamation," as in "The performer was received with great éclat."

Examples of éclat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web People reports that each panel of her dress was embroidered with 50,400 crystal eclats and 50,400 white beads. Krystin Arneson, Glamour, "Every Single Detail We Know About Sophie Turner's Custom Louis Vuitton Wedding Dress," 6 July 2019 Each panel of Turner’s dress was embroidered with 50,400 crystal eclats and 50,400 white beads. Kaitlyn Frey, PEOPLE.com, "Sophie Turner's One-of-a-Kind Louis Vuitton Wedding Dress Took More Than 350 Hours to Make," 5 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'éclat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of éclat

1672, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for éclat

French, splinter, burst, éclat, from OF esclat splinter — more at slate entry 1

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The first known use of éclat was in 1672

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Cite this Entry

“éclat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/%C3%A9clat. Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on éclat

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with éclat

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