éminence grise

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éminence grise

Someone who is powerful in a particular area without having an official title. The phrase, French for "grey eminence," originally applied to one of Cardinal Richelieu's advisors, a monk who wore a grey robe. A: "Why should I worry about what Bob thinks? He doesn't even have a title!" B: "Yes, but he's the éminence grise of the firm, and the partners really value his opinion."
See also: eminence
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Elsewhere there's another reference to a muscle-bound action hero: A 16-mm film in which a thespian wearing a blood-soaked, flesh-colored bodysuit (which turns up elsewhere on a stuffed figure draped over a chair and named in reference to Number One, eminence grise of The Prisoner) reenacts Sylvester Stallone's emotional scene from the 1982 film First Blood, wherein his damaged soldier decompresses after Vietnam.
Both cardinals-designate would not have found favor in Rome if they had not first found it with Cardinal Law, who became the eminence grise of the U.S.
This is the first in a set of four volumes by Grabar (historical studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and Islamic art and architecture, Harvard U.), the eminence grise of Islamic art and architectural history in the U.S.
Koizumi the perpetual peace-seeker can devote his energies to convincing LDP holdouts to enshrine peaceable ideals permanently in a new site after he becomes the party's eminence grise.
Galloway also quoted Hugh Segal, a Jewish "eminence grise," a Red Tory, and a former leadership candidate for the defunct Progressive Conservative party.
Stoffel--who'd come to Iraq on the strength of his connections with a circle of Washington lobbyists associated with the invasions eminence grise, Ahmed Chalabi--had recently accused the Iraqi government and American employees of U.S.
Most exciting of all in this section was a new film from the now eminence grise of the French new wave, Jean-Luc Godard.
Christopher Munch (The Sleepy Time Gal), an eminence grise of the New Queer Cinema and a Sundance favorite, was back with Harry and Max, a twisted tale of two pop-star brothers with the hots for each other.
Baz prefers the role of "eminence grise", rather than a title.
There are two forewords, one by Dr Geoff Gallop, Premier of Western Australia, and one by Geoffrey Bolton, eminence grise of Western Australian history.
In his topsy-turvy literary history, Eliot is threatening, an eminence grise, even though he was the poet Heaney admired most when he was starting out in the 1950s.
No more private jets or corporate apartments, no more hanging around the board as executive chairman or chairman emeritus or eminence grise. Just go, and let the new blood have its day in the sun (and rain).
But during the long decades that followed that meeting, years that saw Castro transformed from the hemisphere's great emancipator into one of its last old-style caudillos and tyrants, and Vargas Llosa from a literary wunderkind and left-wing firebrand into the eminence grise of Latin American neoliberalism, a good many memorable examples of the Latin American dictator novel were published to considerable acclaim.
Indeed, he was regarded in the West as a sort of eminence grise among Islamist leaders.