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épater

Syllabification: épa·ter
Pronunciation: /āˈpätā
 
/

Definition of épater in English:

verb

(in phrase épater les bourgeois)
Shock people who are conventional or complacent.
Example sentences
  • Whether this was born of a genuine revolutionary spirit or just to épater les bourgeois probably no longer matters.
  • If his views are sincerely held, there sometimes seems to be an element of pour épater les bourgeois in his expression of them.
  • Did her interest in photography owe as much to a real feeling for art or journalism as it did to an almost erotically charged desire, only too common among bored suburban teenagers, to épater les bourgeois?

Origin

early 20th century: French, literally 'startle, shock'.

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