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éminence grise

Syllabification: é·mi·nence grise
Pronunciation: /ˌemənəns ˈɡrēz
 
/

Definition of éminence grise in English:

noun (plural éminences grises pronounced same)

A person who exercises power or influence in a certain sphere without holding an official position.
Example sentences
  • But the Hutton inquiry isn't the kind of thing that éminences grises and powers behind thrones are used to.

Origin

1930s: French, literally 'gray eminence'. The term was originally applied to Cardinal Richelieu's gray-cloaked private secretary, Père Joseph (1577–1638).

Definition of éminence grise in:

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