Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.
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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.