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

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,, "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 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

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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Statistics for cause célèbre

Last Updated

23 Sep 2019

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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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Comments on cause célèbre

What made you want to look up cause célèbre? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to spread over or through

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