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See also: eclat


Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from French éclat, from éclater (to burst out). Akin to Old English slītan (to split). More at slice, slit. Doublet of slate and slat.


  • IPA(key): /eɪˈklɑː/
  • (obsolete) IPA(key): /eɪˈklɔː/[1]
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɑː


éclat (countable and uncountable, plural éclats)

  1. A brilliant or successful effect; brilliance of success or effort; splendor; brilliant show; striking effect; glory; renown.
    • 1815 December (indicated as 1816), [Jane Austen], chapter 16, in Emma: [], volume I, London: [] [Charles Roworth and James Moyes] for John Murray, →OCLC:
      The distressing explanation she had to make to Harriet, and all that poor Harriet would be suffering, with the awkwardness of future meetings, the difficulties of continuing or discontinuing the acquaintance, of subduing feelings, concealing resentment, and avoiding éclat, were enough to occupy her in most unmirthful reflections some time longer, and she went to bed at last with nothing settled but the conviction of her having blundered most dreadfully.
    • 1875, Louisa M[ay] Alcott, chapter 4, in Eight Cousins[2]:
      "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.
    • 1899, Thorstein Veblen, “Pecuniary Canons of Taste”, in The Theory of the Leisure Class [] [3], New York: Macmillan, →OCLC:
      Most objects of this general class, with the partial exception of articles of personal adornment, would serve all other purposes than the honorific one equally well, whether owned by the person viewing them or not; and even as regards personal ornaments it is to be added that their chief purpose is to lend éclat to the person of their wearer (or owner) by comparison with other persons who are compelled to do without.
    • 2002 March 5, Ben Brantley, “Theater Review”, in New York Times, page E1:
      Against this background, made mutable by T. J. Gerckens's ethereal lighting, simple props and gestures are used with startling visual éclat.
    • 2003 April, Christopher Hitchens, “Holy Writ”, in The Atlantic[4]:
      The same cannot be said for the writing of Oriana Fallaci, the celebrated Italian journalist whose high-octane interviews with powerful men had such éclat in the seventies, and whose memoir of her dead lover, the Greek resistance fighter Alexander Panagoulis, might be described as a classic of hysterical materialism.



  1. ^ Jespersen, Otto (1909) A Modern English Grammar on Historical Principles (Sammlung germanischer Elementar- und Handbücher; 9)‎[1], volume I: Sounds and Spellings, London: George Allen & Unwin, published 1961, § 10.571, page 304.




Deverbal from 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.



éclat m (plural éclats)

  1. brilliance, shine, lustre
    On ne saurait soutenir l’éclat du soleil.
    (please add an English translation of this usage example)
    L’or mat n’a point d’éclat.
    (please add an English translation of this usage example)
    L’éclat des yeux, du teint, des fleurs.
    (please add an English translation of this usage example)
    • 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.(please add an English translation of this usage example)
  4. (Louisiana) clap, peal (of thunder, laughter)
  5. (Louisiana, in the plural) tinder, kindling

Derived terms[edit]


  • English: éclat
  • German: Eklat

Further reading[edit]