\ ˈlüsh How to pronounce louche (audio) \

Definition of louche

: not reputable or decent

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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.

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

Marielle Heller’s spiky comedy stars Melissa McCarthy as Lee Israel, a smart, misanthropic writer who—with help from an exuberantly louche barfly (Richard E. Grant, just great)—supports herself by forging letters by celebrities. John Powers, Vogue, "These Were 2018’s 12 Best Movies," 12 Dec. 2018 Get your curried or barbecued goat fix at Quán Ăn Diêu Thông, then hit Tung Café, a louche 1960s-era boîte straight out of a Wong Kar-Wai film. Peter Jon Lindberg, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Take Your Vietnam Trip to the Next Level," 20 Nov. 2018 And while his instrument is at the center of nearly every loud and louche LCC song – no wonder Elton John loves the band – the unit as whole brings a joyful swagger to the stage. Dan Deluca, Philly.com, "Low Cut Connie get stinky at Union Transfer (in a good way)," 18 May 2018 These louche proportions disguise an unexpected usefulness: 23.3 cubic feet of cargo room and a spacious rear cabin. Dan Neil, WSJ, "2018 Kia Stinger GT2: The Best German Car to Come Out of South Korea," 6 Apr. 2018 Forget that dated, louche image of Amsterdam as the capital of stoners and winking red lights. Condé Nast Traveler, "Beyond the Basics: Amsterdam," 6 Mar. 2018 So Tillerson stepped down as the CEO of one of the largest corporations in the world to cap his career spending one year being jerked around by a louche New York City shyster. Rob Tornoe, Philly.com, "Rex Tillerson replaced by Mike Pompeo: Reaction to Trump's move," 13 Mar. 2018 But their amusement curdles into annoyance and then outright unpleasantness once the script calls for Carrey to become Tony Clifton, the louche lounge-singer character that Kaufman (or, as a gag, Zmuda) would spring on unsuspecting audiences. Tal Rosenberg, Chicago Reader, "The madness to Jim Carrey’s method," 10 Jan. 2018 Despite the rebranding campaign, Stern notes that early films depicting diners remained fixated on the idea of the diner as a dangerous, unpredictable place, where louche characters mingled and violence was liable to erupt. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian, "The Mystique of the American Diner, from Jack Kerouac to “Twin Peaks”," 31 Aug. 2017

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.

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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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Dictionary Entries near louche







loud and clear

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Time Traveler for louche

The first known use of louche was in 1819

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with louche

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for louche

Comments on louche

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to form ideas or theories about something

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