Definition of trahison des clercs in English:

trahison des clercs

Syllabification: tra·hi·son des clercs
Pronunciation: /träˌēˌzôn dā ˈklār, trāˌzän dā ˈklərk


A betrayal of intellectual, artistic, or moral standards by writers, academics, or artists.
More example sentences
  • The worst betrayal of society has been the trahison des clercs - the decline of writing and the arts into a squalid celebration of all the most cloacal elements of human existence.
  • She is, after all, writing about intellectuals and accusing them of a trahison des clercs, but her mode of analysis could apply just as easily to carpenters or accountants as to writers and artists.
  • There has certainly been a trahison des clercs.


French, literally 'treason of the scholars', the title of a book by Julien Benda (1927).

Definition of trahison des clercs in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

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