noun (plural anciens régimes pronounced same)
1A political or social system that has been displaced, typically by one more modern.
- Having espoused Marxism as their ideological guide, they succeeded in making it the only credible political alternative to the ancien régime.
- The nineteenth century saw the emergence of Italy as a unified state and as a modern political system, moving from the ancien régime of monarchs and feudal aristocracies to an elected parliament and civil rights.
- In the 19th century the Vatican was propped up by, ironically, northern Protestant governments as a symbol of the ancien régime, of political legitimacy and the lost world.
1.1 (Ancien Régime) The political and social system in France before the Revolution of 1789.
- In the previous volume in this series it was argued that the French Revolution created both the Ancien Régime and the Enlightenment because it provided the teleological lens through which they were viewed by later observers.
- In his last historical essay, Furet even forgot himself so far as to write once again of the ‘revolutionary bourgeoisie’ that had carried France out of the Ancien Régime, almost as if he now saw merit in the catechism he had so long denounced.
- The virtues that impressed its original reviewers - freshness, originality, and the ability to express ‘many thoughts in few words' - continue to strike the contemporary reader of the L' Ancien Régime et la Révolution.
Late 18th century: French, literally 'old rule'.
For editors and proofreaders
Syllabification: an·cien ré·gime
Definition of ancien régime in:
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.