cause célèbre

[kawz suh-leb-ruh, -leb; French kohz sey-leb-ruh]
See more synonyms for cause célèbre on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural causes cé·lè·bres [kawz suh-leb-ruh z, suh-lebz, kaw-ziz suh-leb-ruh, -leb; French kohz sey-leb-ruh] /ˈkɔz səˈlɛb rəz, səˈlɛbz, ˈkɔ zɪz səˈlɛb rə, -ˈlɛb; French koʊz seɪˈlɛb rə/.
  1. 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

Related Words for cause celebre

uproar, affair, controversy, debate, fuss, rumor, scandal

British Dictionary definitions for cause celebre

cause célèbre

noun plural causes célèbres (ˈkɔːz səˈlɛbrəz, -ˈlɛb, ˈkɔːzɪz səˈlɛbrə, -ˈlɛbz, French koz selɛbrə)
  1. 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

cause celebre in Culture

cause célèbre

[(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.