1 : ostentatious display : publicity
2 : dazzling effect : brilliance
3 a : brilliant or conspicuous success
Did You Know?
Éclat burst onto the scene in English in the 17th century. The word derives from French, where it can mean "splinter" (the French idiom voler en éclats means "to fly into pieces") as well as "burst" (un éclat de rire means "a burst of laughter"), among other things. The "burst" sense is reflected in the earliest English sense of the word, meaning "ostentatious display or publicity." This sense found its own idiomatic usage in the phrase "to make an éclat," which at one time meant "to create a sensation." By the 1740s, éclat took on the additional meaning of "applause or acclamation," as in "The performer was received with great éclat."
"The … protagonist is a familiar archetype, that washed-up star who can't quite reclaim the éclat of decades past." — Kevin Zawacki, Paste, 25 Aug. 2014
"A woman, a hostess, could play an important subterfuge.… She could serve dinner with éclat, put people at ease, and spice the conversation with the wit that obscured the politics in political discussions." — Louisa Thomas, New York Magazine, 14 Apr. 2016
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Test Your Vocabulary
Unscramble the letters to create a noun that refers to a round of applause: UIPDALT.VIEW THE ANSWER
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP