[kawz suh-leb-ruh, -leb; French kohz sey-leb-ruh]
- any controversy that attracts great public attention, as a celebrated legal case or trial.
Origin of cause célèbre
1755–65; < French: literally, famous case
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- a famous lawsuit, trial, or controversy
Word Origin for cause célèbre
C19: from French: famous case
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
[(kohz say-leb-ruh, kawz suh-leb-ruh)]
A cause or issue, generally political, that arouses public opinion: “The question of the draft was a cause célèbre in the 1960s.” From French, meaning “celebrated cause.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.