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[ka-shey, kash-ey; French ka-she] /kæˈʃeɪ, ˈkæʃ eɪ; French kaˈʃɛ/
noun, plural cachets
[ka-sheyz, kash-eyz; French ka-she] /kæˈʃeɪz, ˈkæʃ eɪz; French kaˈʃɛ/ (Show IPA)
an official seal, as on a letter or document.
a distinguishing mark or feature; stamp:
Courtesy is the cachet of good breeding.
a sign or expression of approval, especially from a person who has a great deal of prestige.
superior status; prestige:
The job has a certain cachet.
Pharmacology. a hollow wafer for enclosing an ill-tasting medicine.
Philately. a firm name, slogan, or design stamped or printed on an envelope or folded letter.
Origin of cachet
1630-40; < French: literally, something compressed to a small size, equivalent to cache cache + -et -et
Can be confused
cache, cachet, cash. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for cachet
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The cachet of the king of Englands approval has been given to the former, and of that of the king of Spain to the latter.

  • The food is excellent--it has a cachet of its own; the wine more than merely good.

    Alone Norman Douglas
  • Rather than lose her, he would have given her a guinea as well as her cachet.

    Men's Wives William Makepeace Thackeray
  • My dear, you know you are beautiful, and you have the cachet that all the Courthornes wear.

    The Impostor Harold Bindloss
  • It has no particular beauty, but a number of frescoes by Flandrin, the pupil of Ingres, give it a cachet.

    A Wanderer in Paris E. V. Lucas
British Dictionary definitions for cachet


an official seal on a document, letter, etc
a distinguishing mark; stamp
prestige; distinction
  1. a mark stamped by hand on mail for commemorative purposes
  2. a small mark made by dealers and experts on the back of postage stamps Compare overprint (sense 3), surcharge (sense 5)
a hollow wafer, formerly used for enclosing an unpleasant-tasting medicine
Word Origin
C17: from Old French, from cacher to hide
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
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Word Origin and History for cachet

1630s, Scottish borrowing of French cachet "seal affixed to a letter or document" (16c.), from Old French dialectal cacher "to press, crowd," from Latin coactare "constrain" (see cache). Meaning evolving through "(letter under) personal stamp (of the king)" to "prestige." Cf. French lettre de cachet "letter under seal of the king."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cachet in Medicine

cachet ca·chet (kā-shā')
An edible wafer capsule used for enclosing an unpleasant-tasting drug.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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