de rigueur was our Word of the Day on 03/09/2013. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of de rigueur in a Sentence
Dark sunglasses are de rigueur these days.
though he was wearing a dinner jacket and a black bow tie, his jeans and tennis shoes were hardly de rigueur
Recent Examples of de rigueur from the Web
Loafers were very kind of de rigueur as far as I was concerned.
For years now, coach class deprivations—shrinking seats, diminishing leg room, disappearing dining options—have become de rigueur.
What was once a scandalous outfit is now, if not de rigueur, simply no big deal, thanks to fashion taste makers like Serena Williams.
They're just presented as de rigueur aspects of weekend culture.
Being self-congratulatory has long been de rigueur in hip-hop, a music that celebrates achievement — both real and aspirational — along with boasts, toasts and more boasts.
Thanks to the waterfowl taking up residency along the banks of the Ohio River in the picturesque historic section of the Village of New Richmond, rubber boots might become de rigueur.
The term is becoming de rigueur among artists and politically active youth.
Pitching lower-strength brews might seem strange in a country that named a lager after Bob Hawke, a former prime minister and speed drinking champion, and where throwing back beers is de rigueur for watching sports or backyard barbecues.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'de rigueur.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
De rigueur: How to pronounce it, spell it, and use it in a sentence
If you want to use de rigueur in conversation pronouncing it correctly is de rigueur. (Click here to find out how.)
Spelling this fancy French borrowing correctly, on the other hand, isn't de rigueur (your spellcheck will do it for you in most cases), but it is possible. The vowels of its final syllable are trickiest. It may help to remember other French borrowings that end in eur, such as amateur, chauffeur, and entrepreneur. And of course the last four letters of liqueur match de rigueur perfectly.
De rigueur has been used as an adjective in English for almost two centuries now, which means that it's established enough to appear in running text without italics. It's foreign-sounding enough, though, that people can feel tentative about using it. Apply it where synonyms like proper, correct, and decorous are at home. Here are some examples of it in use in its adopted language:
Anglophone parents worry that being too strict will break their kids' creative spirits. A visiting American mother was shocked when she saw a playpen in our apartment in Paris. Apparently, back home, even playpens are now seen as too confining. (We didn't know. In Paris they're de rigueur.)
— Pamela Druckerman, Bringing Up Bébé, 2012
Being in the business of writing about cocktails and bars, I often find myself in some pretty swank digs—various "mixology" dens where the elaborate drinks require complex techniques, house-made bitters and farm-to-table infusions are de rigueur, and the bartender has achieved celebrity-chef star status.
— Jason Rowan, Wine Enthusiast, April 2014
Although de rigueur is usually found after the verb (especially after is or are), it's also sometimes used in the traditional adjectival territory before a noun:
Stone, who patiently smiled through the de rigueur photo shoot in front of a backdrop emblazoned with the logos of the festival and its sponsors …
— Paul Liberatore, Marin Independent Journal (marinij.com), 6 Oct. 2016
Why Does Your Invite Say Costume de rigueur?
If you're invited to a ball or other social function and the invitation includes the French phrase costume de rigueur, you are expected to adhere to a very strict dress code-typically, a white tie and tails if you're a man and a floor-length evening gown if you're a woman. In French, de rigueur means "out of strictness" or "according to strict etiquette"; one definition of our word rigor, to which rigueur is related, is "the quality of being strict, unyielding, or inflexible." In English, we tend to use de rigueur to describe a fashion or custom that is so commonplace within a context that it seems a prescribed, mandatory part of it.
de rigueur Synonyms
DE RIGUEUR Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of de rigueur for English Language Learners
: necessary if you want to be fashionable, popular, socially acceptable, etc.
Seen and Heard
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