cause célèbre

noun
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 Khadr, who spent a decade at Guantanamo before being transferred to a Canadian prison and released in 2015, became a cause celebre for critics of America’s tactics in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Missy Ryan, Washington Post, "‘No one just goes hiking in Afghanistan’: American woman gave birth as a Taliban hostage. Now she seeks to end her mystery.," 23 Aug. 2019 The new, blue Orange County is a cause celebre among Democratic presidential candidates. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, "In newly blue Orange County, Democrats struggle over how far left is too far," 2 Jan. 2020 Trump has described the men as heroes operating in difficult circumstances and the cases became a cause celebre among conservatives. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "Trump pardons servicemembers in high profile war crimes cases," 16 Nov. 2019 For Islamic State supporters, the detainees have become a cause celebre. Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times, "Notorious Islamic State ‘Beatles’ in U.S. custody, but can 11,000 other detainees be held securely?," 10 Oct. 2019 Along with protests, animal rights activists have defaced fur coats by dousing them with red paint, signifying blood, and the anti-fur movement became a cause celebre in the 1980s and 1990s. Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times, "California could soon ban sale of new fur products under bill sent to governor," 11 Sep. 2019 The plaintiffs’ lawyer said that Fesseau intentionally put her chicken coop close to her neighbors’ window and then turned Maurice into a cause celebre for rural traditions, and that the judge went too far in punishing the plaintiffs. Nicolas Vaux-montagny, BostonGlobe.com, "Cock-a-doodle-doo! French rooster crows over court win," 5 Sep. 2019 As the case became a cause celebre, with women’s groups clamoring for Jamali to be punished, the victim’s brother Javed Bhutto was a beacon of calm and resolve. Washington Post, "No sane reason," 4 Sep. 2019 Idyllwild’s causes celebres tended toward high passion, but usually without a life-altering wallop. James Rainey, Los Angeles Times, "Idyllwild prized its isolation. Now, with the roads into town wrecked, it feels all alone," 21 July 2019

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

28 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cause célèbre.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cause%20celebre. Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for cause célèbre

cause célèbre

noun
How to pronounce cause célèbre (audio)

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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cause célèbre

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