[ey-klah; French ey-kla]


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 confusedéclat élan
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for eclat

Historical Examples of eclat

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

    Single Life

    John Baldwin Buckstone

  • It was almost with a sense of eclat that she ushered him into the library.

    Mr. Achilles

    Jennette Lee

  • They embellish, and have an eclat in their names, but do not come into collision.


    William Hazlitt

  • My dear lady, it is worth anything if it will make you happy and add to the eclat of the wedding.

    Prince Hagen

    Upton Sinclair

  • The eclat of their reception, and the influence of the bribes, seemed to silence opposition to the scheme.

    Queen Elizabeth

    Jacob Abbott

British Dictionary definitions for eclat



brilliant or conspicuous success, effect, etc
showy display; ostentation
social distinction
approval; acclaim; applause

Word Origin for éclat

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

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