montagnes russes

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Literally, Russian mountains, a predecessor to the modern roller coaster popular in 18th century Russia and introduced in Paris in 1812 under the name Les Montagnes Russes à Belleville.


  • IPA(key): /mɔ̃.taɲ ʁys/
  • (file)


montagnes russes f pl (plural only)

  1. rollercoaster (amusement ride)
    Holonym: parc d’attractions
    • 2010, Paulo Coelho, Onze minutes (original title: Onze minutos), Flammarion (publ.).
      Je suis restée très longtemps devant les montagnes russes : je voyais que la plupart des gens entraient là en quête d’émotions mais, une fois que les véhicules se mettaient en marche, ils mouraient de peur et suppliaient qu’on les arrête.
      I stood for a long time by the roller coaster, and I noticed that most people get on it in search of excitement, but that once it starts, they are terrified and want the cars to stop.
  2. rollercoaster (any situation in which there are ups and downs or violent changes; hectic situation)
    • 2020 October 27, Enguérand Renault, “Le groupe M6 s’adapte aux montagnes russes de la crise sanitaire”, in Le Figaro:

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