Cause célèbre

A "cause célèbre" (plural "causes célèbres", French "famous case") is an issue or incident arousing widespread controversy, outside campaigning and heated public debate. It is particularly used for prolific and long-running legal cases. It is a French phrase in common usage in English. The phrase originated with the 37-volume "Nouvelles Causes Célèbres", published in 1763, which was a collection of reports of well-known French court decisions from the 17th and 18th centuries. While English speakers had used the phrase for many years, it came into much more common usage after the 1894 conviction of Alfred Dreyfus for espionage, which attracted worldwide interest.

ee also

*Landmark decision
*Media circus
*Missing White Woman Syndrome


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  • Cause célèbre — Cause cé|lè|bre auch: Cause cé|lèb|re 〈[ko:z selɛ:brə] f.; , s s [ko:z selɛ:brə]〉 1. aufsehenerregender Rechtsfall 2. Schauprozess [frz., „berühmter Rechtssteit, berühmte Angelegenheit“] * * * I Cause célèbre   Die in …   Universal-Lexikon

  • cause célèbre — (French: famous case.) A trial or lawsuit in which the subject matter or a participant is particularly newsworthy, unusual, or sensational and that typically attracts a great deal of media attention. For example, the case of Scott Peterson,… …   Law dictionary

  • cause célèbre — or cause celebre [kôz′ sə leb′, kôz′leb′rə; ] Fr [ kōz sā le′br ] n. [Fr] 1. a celebrated law case, trial, or controversy 2. a person, thing, or incident that has become widely known, often because of controversy …   English World dictionary

  • cause célèbre — cause cé|lè|bre [ˌkəuz seˈlebrə, ˌko:z US ˌko:z , ˌkouz ] n plural causes célèbres (same pronunciation) [Date: 1700 1800; : French; Origin: famous legal case ] an event or legal case that a lot of people become interested in, because it is an… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Cause célèbre — Cause cé|lèbre* [kozse lɛbr] die; , s s [kozse lɛbr] <aus gleichbed. fr. cause célèbre>: a) berühmter Rechtsstreit; b) berüchtigte Angelegenheit …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • Cause célèbre — (franz., spr. lōs ßelǟbr ), merkwürdiger Rechtsfall, Aufsehen erregender Prozeß etc …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Cause célèbre — (frz., spr. kohs ßĕlähbr), merkwürdiger Rechtsfall, Aufsehen erregendes Ereignis …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Cause célèbre — er et fremmedord for en sensationel eller fashionabel retssag …   Danske encyklopædi

  • cause celebre — cause célèbre (izg. kȏz selȇbr) m DEFINICIJA pravn. pravni slučaj koji izaziva osobitu pozornost ETIMOLOGIJA fr …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • cause célèbre — [n] controversial issue bone of contention, celebrated case, controversy, debate, grist for the gossip mill*, hot potato*, moot point, political football*, scandal, war of words; concepts 46,278,665 …   New thesaurus

  • cause célèbre — ► NOUN (pl. causes célèbres pronunc. same) ▪ a controversial issue arousing great public interest. ORIGIN French, famous case …   English terms dictionary


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