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[ruh-shair-shey, ruh-shair-shey; French ruh-sher-shey] /rəˈʃɛər ʃeɪ, rə ʃɛərˈʃeɪ; French rə ʃɛrˈʃeɪ/
sought out with care.
very rare, exotic, or choice; arcane; obscure.
of studied refinement or elegance; precious; affected; pretentious.
Origin of recherché
1715-25; < French, past participle of rechercher to search for carefully; see research Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for recherche
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I talked scandal, and was never abashed—that was more than enough to make me recherche among the matrons of the other.

    Pelham, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • They were the best we had found any where, and the most 'recherche'.

    The Innocents Abroad Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • Catemara—a small stream falling into recherche Bay, in the county of Kent.

  • I do not know what 'recherche' is, but that is what these donkeys were, anyhow.

    The Innocents Abroad Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • We had now altogether lost sight of the Archipelago of the recherche.

    A Voyage to Terra Australis Matthew Flinders
  • I have just returned from a polite and recherche party here.

    Remarks Bill Nye
  • The recherche de la Vrit (1674-75) was admirably written and was widely read.

  • Washington is the hot-bed of gayety, and general headquarters for the recherche business.

    Remarks Bill Nye
  • What can be more abject than the union of elaborate and recherche arrangements with an old and obvious point?

    Alarms and Discursions G. K. Chesterton
British Dictionary definitions for recherche


/rəˈʃɛəʃeɪ; French rəʃɛrʃe/
known only to connoisseurs; choice or rare
studiedly refined or elegant
Word Origin
C18: from French: past participle of rechercher to make a thorough search for; see research
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 recherche

1722, from French recherché "carefully sought out," past participle of rechercher "to seek out" (12c.), from re-, here perhaps suggesting repeated activity (see re-) + chercher "to search," from Latin circare, in Late Latin "to wander hither and thither," from circus "circle" (see circus). Commonly used 19c. of food, styles, etc., to denote obscure excellence.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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