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1796, from French incroyable, literally "incredible" (15c.), from in- "not, opposite of, without" (see in- (1)) + croire "to believe," from Latin credere (see credo). Name for the French fop or dandy of the period of the Directory (1795-99). Said to be so called from their extravagant dress and from a favorite expression among them ("C'est vraiment incroyable").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Examples from the Web for incroyable
Historical Examples
  • About me there was a dash of the school-master, about them the soupon of a mirliflore or an incroyable.

    Frederic Chopin, Vol II (of 2) Moritz Karasowski
  • This was more than the incroyable had counted upon, and far from his desires.

    The Two Vanrevels Booth Tarkington
  • "I alone must hover about the gates or steal into your garden like a thief," the incroyable had said.

    The Two Vanrevels Booth Tarkington
  • The incroyable was a person of almost magical perceptiveness; he felt the let-down immediately and feared a failure.

    The Two Vanrevels Booth Tarkington
  • The great light fell upon his fair hair and smiling face, and it was then that Miss Betty recognized the incroyable of her garden.

    The Two Vanrevels Booth Tarkington
  • Her partner was an incroyable 28 of the Revolution, and they looked sufficiently incredible.

  • An incroyable presented himself, not dressed in the fashion, but immoderately beyond it.

  • Its wooden skeleton is as scientifically fitted to the rider's form as an old "incroyable's" pair of pantaloons.

  • He was dressed, according to his wont, like an incroyable, and resembled an antique portrait by Garat.

    Les Misrables Victor Hugo

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