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90s Slang You Should Know


[ey-klah; French ey-kla] /eɪˈklɑ; French eɪˈkla/
brilliance of success, reputation, etc.:
the éclat of a great achievement.
showy or elaborate display:
a performance of great éclat.
acclamation; acclaim.
Origin of éclat
1665-75; < French: splinter, fragment, burst, flash, brilliance, Old French esclat, noun derivative of esclater to burst, break violently, probably < Old Low Franconian *slaitan to split, break (compare Old High German sleizan to tear), a causative of Germanic *slitan; see slit
Can be confused
éclat, élan. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for eclat
Historical Examples
  • Thumbelina, the little maid, threw open the door of number seven with eclat.

    Sea and Sardinia D. H. Lawrence
  • The eclat of their reception, and the influence of the bribes, seemed to silence opposition to the scheme.

    Queen Elizabeth Jacob Abbott
  • Every one was eager to get a sight of the young hero whose career had commenced with so much 'eclat'.

    Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne
  • The eclat which the Moorish caliphs shed upon Spain from the tenth to the thirteenth century is well known.

  • Well, when we are altogether, I expect my tea party will go off with eclat.

    Single Life John Baldwin Buckstone
  • The prisoners were represented by John Berwick, the engineer, who entered into their defense with much interest and eclat.

  • But here you would find some opportunity of appearing with eclat, and you really want it.

    Dangerous Connections, v. 1, 2, 3, 4 Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
  • Why he gave battle when so little could be gained, except some eclat, I cannot tell.

  • There is an eclat about his words, and a brave challenging of immense odds, that is like an army with banners.

    Birds and Poets John Burroughs
  • Or a commonplace woman will give a tea-party, and plume herself upon the eclat with which it went off.

    At Large Arthur Christopher Benson
British Dictionary definitions for eclat


/eɪˈklɑː; French ekla/
brilliant or conspicuous success, effect, etc
showy display; ostentation
social distinction
approval; acclaim; applause
Word Origin
C17: from French, from éclater to burst; related to Old French esclater to splinter, perhaps of Germanic origin; compare slit
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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Word Origin and History for eclat

1670s, "showy brilliance," from French éclat "splinter, fragment" (12c.), also "flash of brilliance," from eclater "burst out, splinter," from Old French esclater "smash, shatter into pieces," of uncertain origin, perhaps from a West Germanic word related to slit or to Old High German sleizen "tear to pieces; to split, cleave." Extended sense of "conspicuous success" is first recorded in English in 1741.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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