ancien régime


an·​cien ré·​gime äⁿs-yaⁿ-rā-ˈzhēm How to pronounce ancien régime (audio)
: the political and social system of France before the Revolution of 1789
: a system or mode no longer prevailing

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web This is not to say that Twitter’s ancien regime had everything right or that Musk can’t find actual ways to make Twitter profitable. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 11 Nov. 2022 During the country’s communist period, the government converted the forests to public ownership and kept them off global export markets, enshrining the forest management trends of an ancien regime. Alexander Sammon, The New Republic, 16 Feb. 2022 Nobody would describe the year 2021 in tones of halcyon optimism; the days of Medvedev and Obama now seem like an ancien regime of sorts. Michael Kimmage, The New Republic, 26 Jan. 2021 What could be more agreeable than to read about illicit amours and political intrigues during the twilight of the ancien regime? Washington Post, 18 Nov. 2020 Don’t be surprised if this ends up as more of a sprucing up of the ancien regime than a full-blown revolution. Washington Post, 20 Sep. 2019 An old man, a mandarin of the ancien regime, Mr Essebsi was an odd fit for the presidency of a young and newly-free country. The Economist, 25 July 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ancien régime.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French, literally, old regime

First Known Use

1794, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of ancien régime was in 1794

Dictionary Entries Near ancien régime

Cite this Entry

“Ancien régime.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 2023.

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