dé·​marche | \ dā-ˈmärsh How to pronounce démarche (audio) , di-ˈmärsh, ˈdā-ˌmärsh\
variants: or demarche

Definition of démarche

1a : a course of action : maneuver
b : a diplomatic or political initiative or maneuver
2 : a petition or protest presented through diplomatic channels

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Did You Know?

When it comes to international diplomacy, the French may not always have the last word - but they have quite a few, which they've shared with English. "Démarche," which in French can mean "gait," "walk," or "action," among other things, is one of the earliest of these; we started using it in the 1600s. It was first used generally in the sense of "a maneuver," and before long it 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" (a word used in diplomatic parlance for approval of a diplomatic representative) - not to mention the words "diplomacy" and "diplomat" themselves.

Examples of démarche in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The State Department did not even send out formal diplomatic notes - known as demarches - to Security Council capitals seeking support. chicagotribune.com, "Haley makes it clear she will accept nothing less than to be Tillerson's equal," 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, "How to Get Out of the Iran Nuclear Deal," 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, "Senior diplomat in Beijing embassy resigns over Trump’s climate change decision," 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, "Spymaster in the Catbird Seat," 8 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'démarche.' 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 démarche

1658, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for démarche

French démarche, literally, gait, from Middle French, from demarcher to march, from Old French demarchier, from de- + marchier to march

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The first known use of démarche was in 1658

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


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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