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éminence grise

[French ey-mee-nahns greez] /French eɪ mi nɑ̃s ˈgriz/
noun, plural éminences grises
[French ey-mee-nahns greez] /French eɪ mi nɑ̃s ˈgriz/ (Show IPA)
Origin
< French
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for éminence grise

éminence grise

/eminɑ̃s ɡriz/
noun (pl) éminences grises (eminɑ̃s ɡriz)
1.
a person who wields power and influence unofficially or behind the scenes
Word Origin
C19: literally: grey eminence, originally applied to Père Joseph (François Le Clerc du Tremblay; died 1638), French monk, secretary of Cardinal Richelieu
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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éminence grise in Culture
éminence grise [(ay-meh-nahns greez)]

A person who wields power behind the scenes: “The king's brother-in-law is his éminence grise; he has enormous influence, though he is rarely in the public eye.” A French term meaning “gray eminence.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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