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 cause célèbre (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 Then-President Donald Trump tweeted about Afkari, who became a cause celebre, and urged Iran’s rulers not to execute him. Benjamin Weinthal, Washington Examiner, "Iran facing calls to be kicked out of Olympics after execution of boxer," 5 Feb. 2021 The 17-year-old, who has become a cause celebre of the far right, was released from jail Nov. 20 after posting a $2 million cash bail, an amount raised primarily by conservative figures and groups. Washington Post, "Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse ordered to stand trial after effort to dismiss charges fails," 4 Dec. 2020 Overturning the convictions had become a cause celebre. Los Angeles Times, "Trump pardon of Blackwater killers sparks outrage in Iraq," 23 Dec. 2020 An elephant who has become a cause celebre for animal rights activists around the world will be allowed to leave his Pakistani zoo and transferred to better conditions, the animal welfare group helping with the case said Saturday., "‘World’s Loneliest Elephant’ Okayed to Quit Zoo for New Life," 5 Sep. 2020 Since the Kenosha shooting, Pierce said he has been consumed with his work on behalf of Rittenhouse, who has become a cause celebre for some on the right. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, "Lawyer of accused Kenosha shooter has troubled financial past, steps away from defense fund that raised $700K," 5 Sep. 2020 Sharpton had done his best to make the episode a cause celebre by leading demonstrations. Washington Post, "Live updates: Officials apologize after Black reporter arrested covering Proud Boys rally," 17 Aug. 2020 By then, the case was becoming a cause celebre in British politics, driven by the suspicion that, had the Lawrences been White, the police would have treated it completely differently. Robert Hutton,, "Police End Stephen Lawrence Murder Probe That Showed U.K. Racism," 11 Aug. 2020 Her story became a cause celebre among advocates of criminal justice reform, including Kardashian West, who has become a force in the world of criminal justice reform. Janelle Griffith, NBC News, "Child sex trafficking survivor supported by Kim Kardashian West freed from jail," 22 Apr. 2020

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of cause célèbre was in 1763

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Statistics for cause célèbre

Last Updated

19 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cause célèbre.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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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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