louche

adjective
\ 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 This tendency towards a kind of louche, showy entitlement did not begin with the drama. The Economist, "The Flyte club Published 75 years ago, “Brideshead Revisited” set off a lasting cult," 11 June 2020 His business rivals include the louche Chinese gangster Dry Eye (Crazy Rich Asians’ Henry Golding) and a drab little ferret of a man called Matthew (Succession star Jeremy Strong, who delivers every line in a sort of strange, fey deadpan). Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, "Guy Ritchie gets his gangster ya-yas out again in The Gentlemen: Review," 23 Jan. 2020 These likable, louche fellows encourage Gordy to loosen up, have some fun. Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘The Canadians’ at South Coast Repertory sets course with a queer ‘Love Boat’," 7 Oct. 2019 Sure, let’s meet two sidekicks, louche middle-aged Vlad (Edward Staudenmayer) and handsome young Dmitry (Jake Levy). Margaret Gray, Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Anastasia’ at the Pantages has a look that dazzles. The story, not so much," 11 Oct. 2019 Somehow, in another cocktail, that louche humor mixes with the weird Yankee virtues of thrift and simplicity, virtues that are on paradoxically conspicuous display in Mount Desert Island’s Northeast Harbor. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Memories of Maine," 22 Aug. 2019 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 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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Time Traveler for louche

Time Traveler

The first known use of louche was in 1819

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Last Updated

20 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Louche.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/louche. Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on louche

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for louche

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with louche

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