A concealed thought or intention; an ulterior motive.
- 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'.
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