: 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.
The man was nicely dressed but had a hard-boiled, louche look about him that raised suspicion.
"However louche Los Angeles' image may be, it remains a puritanical city in a puritanical state. California caps the number of bar licenses … at one for every 2,000 residents. That number hasn't changed since 1939…." - Josh Stephens, Los Angeles Times, April 9, 2015
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Test Your Vocabulary
What word beginning with "s" is derived from a Latin word meaning "on the left side" or "unlucky" and in English can mean "having an evil appearance"? The answer is …
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