Definition of dernier cri
: the newest fashion
dernier cri was our Word of the Day on 08/11/2009. Hear the podcast!
Examples of dernier cri in a sentence
when deconstructionism became the dernier cri in literary criticism
Did You Know?
Paris has long been the last word in fashion, but hot designer clothes from the city's renowned runways aren’t the only stylish French exports. Words, too, sometimes come with a French label. Dernier cri, literally "last cry," is one such chic French borrowing. The word is no trendy fad, however. More than a century has passed since "dernier cri" was the latest thing on the English language scene (and cut-steel jewelry was declared the dernier cri by the Westminster Gazette of December 10, 1896), but the term (unlike cut-steel) remains as modish as ever. Other fashionable French words have walked the runways of the English language since then: "blouson" (1904); "couture" (1908); "culotte" (1911); "lamé" (a clothing fabric, 1922); and "bikini" (1947), to name a few.
Origin and Etymology of dernier cri
French, literally, last cry
First Known Use: 1896
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