dé·​marche dā-ˈmärsh How to pronounce démarche (audio)
variants or demarche
: a course of action : maneuver
: a diplomatic or political initiative or maneuver
: a petition or protest presented through diplomatic channels

Did you know?

When it comes to international diplomacy, it’s important not only to talk the talk but to walk the walk—which makes démarche an especially fitting word for diplomatic contexts. The word comes from French, where it can mean “gait” or “walk,” among other things. In English it was first used in the 17th century generally in the sense of “a maneuver,” and it soon developed a specific use in the world of diplomacy. Some of the other diplomacy-related words we use that come from French include attaché, chargé d'affaires, communiqué, détente, and agrément—not to mention the words diplomacy and diplomat themselves.

Examples of démarche in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Russian demarche echoed the public rhetoric of officials in Moscow, who have been warning for weeks that Western arms deliveries to Ukraine would prolong the war and be met with a tough response. Arkansas Online, 16 Apr. 2022 The Russian diplomatic protest note, called a demarche, was sent through normal channels, two administration officials said, and it was not signed by President Vladimir Putin or other senior Russian officials. Arkansas Online, 16 Apr. 2022 The State Department did not even send out formal diplomatic notes - known as demarches - to Security Council capitals seeking support. chicagotribune.com, 9 Mar. 2018 Our embassies should not limit themselves to delivering the demarche, however, but should undertake extensive public diplomacy as well. John R. Bolton, National Review, 28 Aug. 2017 According to a State Department official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be more candid, Rank was unwilling to deliver the demarche. Carol Morello, Washington Post, 5 June 2017 In private life, the brothers were both partners in the white-shoe New York law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, whose clients’ interests often aligned with U.S. foreign policy demarches.... Alex Beam, WSJ, 8 Mar. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'démarche.' 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 démarche, literally, gait, from Middle French, from demarcher to march, from Old French demarchier, from de- + marchier to march

First Known Use

1658, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of démarche was in 1658


Dictionary Entries Near démarche

Cite this Entry

“Démarche.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/d%C3%A9marche. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

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