roman à clef

[ raw-mah na kle ]
/ rɔ mɑ na ˈklɛ /

noun, plural ro·mans à clef [raw-mahn za kle] /rɔ mɑ̃ za ˈklɛ/. French.

a novel that represents historical events and characters under the guise of fiction.

Nearby words

  1. roman punch,
  2. roman ride,
  3. roman shade,
  4. roman snail,
  5. roman strike,
  6. roman-fleuve,
  7. romance,
  8. romance languages,
  9. romancer,
  10. romanes

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


British Dictionary definitions for roman a clef

roman à clef

/ French (rɔmɑ̃ a kle) /

noun plural romans à clef (rɔmɑ̃ a kle)

a novel in which real people are depicted under fictitious names

Word Origin for roman à clef

literally: novel with a key

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

Culture definitions for roman a clef

roman à clef

[ (roh-mahn ah klay) ]

A novel in which actual people and places are disguised as fictional characters. Roman à clef is French for “novel with a key.”

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.