Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- "Following the award of the Nobel Prize, Beckett was pressured to make a new work available for publication. Finally, and almost à contrecoeur, he turned over to Les Editions de Minuit a story—“Premier Amour”—which he had written in 1946 but had withheld from publication."
- 1882, Vincent van Gogh, in a letter to Theo van Gogh, 14 May 1882
- "Xtien was young at the time and had met him after her father's death, didn't know then what she knows now, and when the man died there she was alone with her child - forsaken, without a penny. À contrecœur went on the streets, became ill, was taken to hospital, in all sorts of trouble..."
- 1990, Terence Cave, Recognitions: A Study in Poetics
- Œdipe is another matter: he can't simply be ejected from the plot. So Dircé in the end has to take back everything she had said earlier about Œdipe's tyrannical behaviour and claims that she had said it à contrecœur anyway.
- 2004, Daniel Hannan, The way ahead for Europe
- This is not to say, of course, that countries would be prevented from adopting common initiatives in these areas. But no longer would sceptical states be dragged à contrecœur into policies that their people disliked. The more federally minded governments would be free to use EU structures and institutions to amalgamate to their hearts’ content, with no pressure on the more reluctant nations to join them.
- à contre-cœur (traditional)
See à, contre, and cœur for the etymologies of the individual words. The adverbial phrase derives from the phrase qui va contre le cœur, meaning which goes against the heart, where heart is used figuratively to mean one's preferences.