jeunesse dorée

jeu·​nesse do·​rée | \ zhœ-nes-dȯ-ˈrā How to pronounce jeunesse dorée (audio) \

Definition of jeunesse dorée

: young people of wealth and fashion

Did You Know?

French revolutionary leader Maximilien Robespierre and his allies, the Jacobins, gained many enemies for their role in the Reign of Terror. One of their fiercest opponents was Louis Freron, a former Jacobin who played a key role in overthrowing their government. On July 27, 1794, counter-revolutionaries toppled the Jacobin regime and had Robespierre arrested and executed. In the midst of the chaos that followed, Louis Freron organized gangs of fashionably dressed young toughs to terrorize the remaining Jacobins. French speakers called those stylish young thugs the jeunesse dorée-literally, the "gilded youth." By the time the term jeunesse dorée was adopted into English in the 1830s, it had lost its association with violent street gangs and simply referred to any wealthy young socialites.

First Known Use of jeunesse dorée

1836, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for jeunesse dorée

French, gilded youth

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about jeunesse dorée

Time Traveler for jeunesse dorée

Time Traveler

The first known use of jeunesse dorée was in 1836

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about jeunesse dorée

Statistics for jeunesse dorée

Cite this Entry

“Jeunesse dorée.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on jeunesse dorée

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jeunesse dorée

Comments on jeunesse dorée

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!