Definition of arrière-pensée in English:


Syllabification: ar·rière-pen·sée
Pronunciation: /ärēˌerpänˈsā


A concealed thought or intention; an ulterior motive.
More example sentences
  • But this military judgement cloaked political arrière-pensées.
  • In one sphere the French did try genuinely to develop their liberating and civilizing mission unencumbered by economic and military considerations, if not totally free of the arrière-pensée of French greatness.
  • Too often, when donor governments decide which of your activities to fund, there is a flagrant political arrière-pensée.


early 19th century: French, literally 'behind thought'.

Definition of arrière-pensée in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day noisome
Pronunciation: ˈnɔɪs(ə)m
having an extremely offensive smell