cachet

noun

ca·​chet ka-ˈshā How to pronounce cachet (audio)
1
a
: a seal used especially as a mark of official approval
b
: an indication of approval carrying great prestige
The president placed his cachet on the project.
2
a
: a characteristic feature or quality conferring prestige
regarded the possession of real estate as a cachet of respectability
b
: prestige
being rich … doesn't have the cachet it used to Truman Capote
3
: a medicinal preparation for swallowing consisting of a case usually of rice-flour paste enclosing a medicine
4
a
: a design or inscription on an envelope to commemorate a postal or philatelic event
b
: an advertisement forming part of a postage meter impression
c
: a motto or slogan included in a postal cancellation (see cancellation sense 3)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between cache and cachet?

Although the two words come from the same root (the French cacher, meaning "to press, hide"), cache and cachet have different meanings. Cache primarily refers to a thing that is hidden or stored somewhere, or to the place where it is hidden. It has recently taken on another common meaning, "short-term computer memory where information is stored for easy retrieval." Cachet usually means "prestige" or "a characteristic feature or quality conferring prestige."

What is the difference between cachet and prestige?

Several of the senses of cachet are similar, or synonymous with prestige; among its definitions are "a characteristic feature or quality conferring prestige," "an indication of approval carrying great prestige," and "prestige." However, cachet does have additional meanings which share little of their meaning with prestige, including "a medicinal preparation for swallowing," and "a seal used especially as a mark of official approval."

How do you pronounce cachet?

Cache and cash are pronounced the same, but cachet is pronounced \cash-AY\ {audio:cachet01}. Cachet and cache share the same origin, the French cacher "to press, hide"; cash, however, comes from a different root, the Latin word for "chest" (capsa).

Example Sentences

a movie director with great artistic cachet His research in Antarctica gave him a certain cachet among other scientists.
Recent Examples on the Web Memorable expressions have cachet, though, and so the race is on to coin the winning replacement. Jo Constantz, Fortune, 24 Aug. 2022 The events at Brookside come at a time when the Rose Bowl is losing its cachet as one of the go-to stadium venues in Southern California. Los Angeles Times, 1 Sep. 2022 In 2017, Seiko Corporation made Grand Seiko a stand-alone marque, with its own distribution and design philosophy, and its cachet among collectors has never been stronger. Carol Besler, Forbes, 17 Aug. 2022 Founded in the ’50s, the storied brand has become synonymous with high-end skiing, a label that imparts instant cachet. Barry Samaha, Robb Report, 29 Sep. 2022 It’s that perfect balance between comfort and cachet. Liz Raiss, Los Angeles Times, 27 Sep. 2022 Investors who have poured millions into a startup are unlikely to let an idea that once had such cachet die without a fight. Paige Mcglauflin, Fortune, 1 Sep. 2022 The unbiased takeaway from these impressive standings is that U.S. medical education holds tremendous cachet, significance and value. Dr. David Lenihan, Forbes, 2 Aug. 2022 Among the Formula 1 paddock’s sea of cachet, opulence and fame, Colton Herta is slowly starting to find his place. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, 7 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cachet.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from French, "small seal with a coat of arms and initials engraved or in relief used to seal documents, a document so sealed, mark of approval, distinctive character," going back to Middle French, from cacher "to press" + -et -et entry 1 (here as a suffix of instrument) — more at cache entry 1

Note: See note at cache entry 1.

First Known Use

circa 1639, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of cachet was circa 1639

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Dictionary Entries Near cachet

Cite this Entry

“Cachet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cachet. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Medical Definition

cachet

noun

ca·​chet ka-ˈshā How to pronounce cachet (audio)
: a medicinal preparation for swallowing consisting of a case usually of rice-flour paste containing an unpleasant-tasting medicine

called also wafer, wafer capsule

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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