Definition of louche
: not reputable or decent
louche was our Word of the Day on 05/08/2015. Hear the podcast!
Examples of louche in a sentence
before gentrification, it was the sort of louche neighborhood where people went looking for illegal drugs
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 places of questionable repute.
Origin and Etymology of louche
French, literally, cross-eyed, squint-eyed, from Latin luscus blind in one eye
First Known Use: 1819
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