ca·​chet | \ ka-ˈshā How to pronounce cachet (audio) \

Definition of cachet

1a : 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.
2a : 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
4a : 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 About cachet

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 (/words-at-play/cache-and-cachet-whats-the-difference). 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. 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).

Examples of cachet in a Sentence

a movie director with great artistic cachet His research in Antarctica gave him a certain cachet among other scientists.
Recent Examples on the Web Once upon a time, rich women did charity work as a way to gain social cachet (and, of course, some still do); organizing a fundraising gala was an opportunity to wear a designer gown and get your name in the society pages. Nancy Jo Sales, Harper's BAZAAR, 7 Oct. 2021 In exchange for a brand giving the author a wider platform, an author gives the brand a deeper sense of authenticity or cultural cachet. Kate Dwyer, Marie Claire, 9 Nov. 2021 The electric event proved that the pandemic hadn’t cooled the brand’s cachet. Ian Malone, Vogue, 4 Oct. 2021 And after President Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris Agreement, the new administration carrying a legislative victory into the summit would help restore America's climate cachet abroad. Cara Korte, CBS News, 28 Sep. 2021 Those institutions hold tremendous amounts of civic good will and political cachet, and are frequently the first entry point for households new to the banking system or struggling to maintain a balance. Washington Post, 9 June 2021 The moral cachet of COP26 is so high—a summit trying to save the world!—that companies are understandably keen to associate themselves with it in any way. Samanth Subramanian, Quartz, 18 Oct. 2021 But, Pearley's pick doesn't have the luxurious cachet of senior editor Joey Capparella's long-wheelbase Infiniti, a car that Capparella insists will qualify for Uber Black. Tony Quiroga, Car and Driver, 17 Sep. 2021 His previous Broadway bows have all been huge hits, and the rest of the team carries a strong cachet with it. Lee Seymour, Forbes, 29 Sep. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of cachet

circa 1639, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for cachet

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.

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The first known use of cachet was circa 1639

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Last Updated

24 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cachet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for cachet



English Language Learners Definition of cachet


ca·​chet | \ ka-ˈshā How to pronounce cachet (audio) \

Medical Definition of cachet

: a medicinal preparation for swallowing consisting of a case usually of rice-flour paste containing an unpleasant-tasting medicine

called also wafer, wafer capsule


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