douceur

noun dou·ceur \ dü-ˈsər \

Definition of douceur

:a conciliatory gift

douceur was our Word of the Day on 11/12/2009. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

In French, douceur means "pleasantness," and it is often used in phrases such as "douceur de vivre" ("the pleasure of life"). The word derives from the Latin adjective dulcis, meaning "sweet." A douceur is a gift or payment - sometimes, but not necessarily, considered a bribe - provided by someone to enhance or "sweeten" a deal. In the United Kingdom, "douceur" specifically refers to a tax benefit given to someone who sells a historical artifact to a public collection. Other sweet treats that "dulcis" has given to our language include "dulcet" (having a "sweet" sound that is pleasing to the ear) and "dulcimer" (a kind of stringed instrument that provides "sweet" music).

Origin and Etymology of douceur

French, pleasantness, from Late Latin dulcor sweetness, from Latin dulcis


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to suppress quietly or indirectly

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