\ ˈlüsh How to pronounce louche (audio) \

Definition of louche

: not reputable or decent

Did you know?

Louche ultimately comes from the Latin word luscus, meaning "blind in one eye" or "having poor sight." This Latin term gave rise to the French louche, meaning "squinting" or "cross-eyed." The French gave their term a figurative sense as well, taking that squinty look to mean "shady" or "devious." English speakers didn't see the need for the sight-impaired uses when they borrowed the term in the 19th century, but they kept the figurative one. The word is still quite visible today and is used to describe both people and things of questionable repute.

Examples of louche in a Sentence

before gentrification, it was the sort of louche neighborhood where people went looking for illegal drugs
Recent Examples on the Web Since the early 1800s, when rich, high-ranking Ottoman officials known as pashas were said to have used their houseboats to rendezvous with their mistresses, the boats have radiated a kind of louche, half-light glamour. Vivian Yee, BostonGlobe.com, 29 June 2022 The Israeli-American designer who left a corporate design job in 2003 to launch a six-piece collection has steadily grown her label into a chic yet louche luxury womenswear brand. Roxanne Robinson, Forbes, 25 July 2022 Their retro suggestiveness is colored by our perception of the early ’70s as a uniquely louche and glamorous time, a compelling contrast to our own more scripted era. Nancy Macdonell, WSJ, 22 June 2022 Its louche luxe projects, helmed by founders Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch, include numerous outposts of the Ace Hotel. The Editors Of Elle Decor, ELLE Decor, 1 June 2022 The Duke, on the other hand, is louche and unctuous, the human personification of privilege lounging in a fabulous dressing gown. Hugh Ryan, Town & Country, 25 May 2022 With a louche silhouette, a bootiful backside and river-stone smoothness, the 230i Coupe is affordably gorgeous—enough but not too much, swag wise. Dan Neil, WSJ, 19 May 2022 Their house had been the absolute crossroads of thrilling louche Hollywood and the crackling world of ideas that was pouring in from the East. Caitlin Flanagan, The Atlantic, 16 May 2022 Crombie coats are a fixture—but infused with a subtle sense of irreverence: trousers are often cut wide for a louche drape, traditional tailoring is spliced with utilitarian details, leather and punchy colors make frequent appearances. Kristopher Fraser, Robb Report, 13 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'louche.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of louche

1819, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for louche

French, literally, cross-eyed, squint-eyed, from Latin luscus blind in one eye

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Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Louche.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/louche. Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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