causes celebres

cause célèbre

[kawz suh-leb-ruh, -leb; French kohz sey-leb-ruh]
noun, plural causes célèbres [kawz suh-leb-ruhz, suh-lebz, kaw-ziz suh-leb-ruh, -leb; French kohz sey-leb-ruh] .
any controversy that attracts great public attention, as a celebrated legal case or trial.

1755–65; < French: literally, famous case Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
cause célèbre (ˈkɔːz səˈlɛbrə, -ˈlɛb, French koz selɛbrə)
n , pl causes célèbres
a famous lawsuit, trial, or controversy
[C19: from French: famous case]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
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 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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