Share this entry
arrière-pensée Line breaks: arrière-pensée
Pronunciation: /ˌarɪɛː ˈpɒ̃seɪ/
Pronunciation: /aʀjɛʀ pɑ̃se/

Definition of arrière-pensée in English:


A concealed thought or intention; an ulterior motive.
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.


French, literally 'behind thought'.

Definition of arrière-pensée in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources