éclat

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See also: eclat

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from French, from éclater (to burst out), from Middle French esclater (to break, break violently), from Old French esclater (to separate from, sunder out) (deverbal also in Old French: esclat), from Frankish *slaitan (to split, break), from Proto-Germanic *slaitijaną, causative of Proto-Germanic *slītaną (to cut up, split). Akin to Old High German sleizan (to tear), Old English slītan (to split). More at slice, slit.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

éclat (uncountable)

  1. A brilliant or successful effect; brilliance of success or effort; splendor; brilliant show; striking effect; glory; renown.
    • 1875, Louisa May Alcott, Eight Cousins, ch. 4,
      "All she needs is a year or two at a fashionable finishing school, so that at eighteen she can come out with éclat," put in Aunt Clara.
    • 2002, Ben Brantley, "Theater Review," New York Times, 5 Mar., p. E1,
      Against this background, made mutable by T. J. Gerckens's ethereal lighting, simple props and gestures are used with startling visual éclat.

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French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Deverbal of éclater (to burst), from Middle French esclater (to break, break violently), from Old French esclater (to separate from, sunder out) (deverbal also in Old French esclat), from Frankish *slaitan (to split, break), from Proto-Germanic *slaitijaną, causative of Proto-Germanic *slītaną (to cut up, split). Akin to Old High German sleizan (to tear), Old English slītan (to split). More at slice, slit, slate, slat.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

éclat m (plural éclats)

  1. brilliance, shine, lustre
    On ne saurait soutenir l’éclat du soleil.
    L’or mat n’a point d’éclat.
    L’éclat des yeux, du teint, des fleurs.
    • 1837 Louis Viardot, L’Ingénieux Hidalgo Don Quichotte de la Manchefr.Wikisource, translation of El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Chapter I:
      Il lui parut convenable et nécessaire, aussi bien pour l’éclat de sa gloire que pour le service de son pays, de se faire chevalier errant, de s’en aller par le monde, avec son cheval et ses armes, chercher les aventures, et de pratiquer tout ce qu’il avait lu que pratiquaient les chevaliers errants, redressant toutes sortes de torts, et s’exposant à tant de rencontres, à tant de périls, qu’il acquît, en les surmontant, une éternelle renommée. Il s’imaginait déjà, le pauvre rêveur, voir couronner la valeur de son bras au moins par l’empire de Trébizonde. Ainsi emporté par de si douces pensées et par l’ineffable attrait qu’il y trouvait, il se hâta de mettre son désir en pratique.
      It seemed to him appropriate and necessary, as much for the shine of his own glory as for the service of his country, that he should become a knight-errant, and go about the world, with his horse and his weapons, looking for adventures, and practising everything that he had read that knights-errant practised, redressing all sorts of wrongs, and exposing themselves to so many encounters, to so many perils, that he should gain, in surmounting them, eternal fame. He already imagined himself, the poor dreamer, seeing himself crowned at least by the emperor of Trebizond. So taken away was he by such sweet thoughts and by the ineffable attraction that he found in them, he hurried to put his desire into practice.
  2. fragment
    Il a été blessé par un éclat d’obus.
    He was wounded by grenade fragment.
  3. Strong reaction; scandal.
    Cette affaire fait éclat, fait de l’éclat, grand éclat, beaucoup d’éclat.

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