Definition of ci-devant in English:


Syllabification: ci-de·vant
Pronunciation: /ˌsēdəˈvänt


From or in an earlier time (used to indicate that someone or something once possessed a specified characteristic but no longer does so): her ci-devant student, now her lover
More example sentences
  • The sweat-soaked, frightened, and bedraggled ci-devant dandy hammered at the door of his last-hope refuge.
  • I cannot say I think his manners have much of that elegance which might have been expected from a person of his ci-devant rank.
  • The ci-devant banker, then a widower with an only daughter, Esther, had journeyed to England.


early 18th century: French, literally 'heretofore'.

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Word of the day retroflex
Pronunciation: ˈrɛtrə(ʊ)flɛks
turned backwards