cause célèbre

cause cé·​lè·​bre | \ ˌkȯz-sə-ˈleb How to pronounce cause célèbre (audio) , -ˈle-brə, ˌkōz-, -ˈlebrᵊ\
variants: or less commonly cause celebre
plural causes célèbres also causes celebres\ same  How to pronounce causes celebres (audio) \

Definition of cause célèbre

1 : a legal case that excites widespread interest
2 : a notorious person, thing, incident, or episode

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Examples of cause célèbre in a Sentence

a cause célèbre from some reality TV show whose fame hadn't even lasted the proverbial 15 minutes

Recent Examples on the Web

What Happened: An anonymous Chicago waitress became an online cause celebre after spitting on Presidential Son Eric Trump, but sympathies for the spitee were sadly lacking. Graeme Mcmillan, WIRED, "While You Were Offline: The Great Debate(s) That Rocked the Internet," 30 June 2019 Unfortunately for La Liga, at the moment, privacy is much more of a cause celebre than their precious intellectual property. Jacob Feldman,, "Massive La Liga Fine Just the Beginning of Sports Media’s Newest Battle," 14 June 2019 The Hammonds served jail time for setting fires on federal pastures in eastern Oregon and became a cause celebre for brothers Ryan and Ammon Bundy in 2016. USA TODAY, "Renters revolt, troublesome bras, deer in the john: News from around our 50 states," 5 June 2019 With Ahed turning into a Palestinian cause celebre, the family says that Israeli authorities are desperate to silence them. Loveday Morris, Washington Post, "How a Palestinian teen’s rubber-bullet injury to the brain turned to a biking accident overnight," 27 Feb. 2018 MARIA BUTINA Accused of working as an undeclared foreign agent in the U.S., Butina is quickly becoming a cause celebre at home. Greg Norman, Fox News, "Russians accused of crimes abroad finding fame in their homeland," 13 Sep. 2018 Valtonyc’s case became a cause celebre in Spain among organizations who claim Spanish authorities are cracking down on free speech. Lorne Cook, The Seattle Times, "Belgian court rules out extradition for Spanish rapper," 17 Sep. 2018 McAdams case became cause celebre Many conservatives argue universities should have more latitude to fire tenured faculty, but this case played out differently. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin Supreme Court sides with Marquette professor John McAdams in free speech case, orders university to reinstate him," 6 July 2018 Now, all of a sudden, this has become the cause celebre of the left. Fox News, "Former agent fires back at calls to abolish ICE," 30 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of cause célèbre

1763, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cause célèbre

French, literally, celebrated case

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Time Traveler for cause célèbre

The first known use of cause célèbre was in 1763

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More Definitions for cause célèbre

cause célèbre


English Language Learners Definition of cause célèbre

formal : a legal case or an event that a lot of people become interested in

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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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