cause célèbre

(redirected from célèbres)

cause célèbre

1. A controversy that causes public debate. The town's polluted drinking water became a national cause célêbre when it was discovered that the local leaders had allowed it to happen.
2. A legal case that is famous or celebrated. The trial became a cause célêbre for those who felt the defendant was victimized by the legal system.
See also: cause
References in classic literature ?
It is pleasant to me to observe, Watson, that you have so far grasped this truth that in these little records of our cases which you have been good enough to draw up, and, I am bound to say, occasionally to embellish, you have given prominence not so much to the many causes célèbres and sensational trials in which I have figured but rather to those incidents which may have been trivial in themselves, but which have given room for those faculties of deduction and of logical synthesis which I have made my special province.