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90s Slang You Should Know


[seeduh-vahn; English see-duh-vahn] /sidəˈvɑ̃; English ˌsi dəˈvɑ̃/
adjective, French.
former: used especially in reference to a retired officeholder.
Origin of ci-devant
literally, heretofore Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ci-devant
Historical Examples
  • The elder lady is almost blind, and every way much decayed; the other, the ci-devant groom, in good preservation.

  • How ardently he regretted that he had complied with the prayer of the ci-devant!

    A Stable for Nightmares J. Sheridan Le Fanu
  • I had been one of the ci-devant Kernogan's labourers—his chattel, what?

    Lord Tony's Wife Baroness Emmuska Orczy
  • The ci-devant sweeper, in his smart livery, appeared at the door.

    Lucretia, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • It proved to be my ci-devant tutor, Mr Laffan,—now holding the rank of captain.

    In New Granada W.H.G. Kingston
  • The ci-devant Marquis of Talaru has only a little office, and he pays that price.

    In the Name of Liberty Owen Johnson
  • To the consul's surprise, the ci-devant Karl beamed upon him, and advanced with outstretched hand.

  • Citoyenne, you are said to have been very intimate in the past with the ci-devant nobles.

    In the Name of Liberty Owen Johnson
  • He is a ci-devant noble, who became mayor by intrigues and cabals.'

    France and the Republic William Henry Hurlbert
  • I confessed her when I was a ci-devant cur in the days of fanaticism and error.

    In the Name of Liberty Owen Johnson
British Dictionary definitions for ci-devant


(esp of an office-holder) former; recent
Word Origin
literally: heretofore
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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