gray eminence


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gray eminence

The power behind the throne; a person who wields considerable power but secretly or surreptitiously. The term is a translation from the French of éminence grise. This phrase originally referred to François Leclerc du Tremblay (1577–1638), the trusted behind-the-scenes adviser of Cardinal Richelieu. The term came into English in the early 1940s when Aldous Huxley wrote a book about Tremblay entitled Grey Eminence (1941). See also power behind the throne.
See also: eminence, gray
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Grayson; his press secretary, Ray Stannard Baker; and that grayest of gray eminences, Bernard Baruch], then and for the rest of their lives, interpreted House's entirely intelligible and honorable diplomatic maneuvers as the blackest treason" (225).
The scion of an upper-middle-class, Protestant, academic family, he presided as "a gray eminence" over the NRF establishment for many years.
At last year's POC national convention, NTALTRIFCA delegates shouted down the gray eminence, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., when he tried to reminisce from the podlum about the days when public school teachers read aloud to schoolchildren, rather than running books through digital voice scanners.
In Gray Eminence, 1992, (which may be the most daring piece in the show) steel rosettes are simply attached in a regular pattern to an extremely weathered piece of board: the grain of the wood replaces paint.
Meanwhile, the gray eminence known as Comrade Andrew, sojourning in number 45 squat next door (how a K.G.B.
Antero, almost as a matter of course, is the gray eminence of the book.
Otherwise, they will soon become behind-the-scene wire pullers, "gray eminences," "kingmakers," "brilliant mischief-makers."
Peary does a fine job of balancing gray eminences and young Turks in his lineup of interviewees.
At first the gray eminences at FAS hoped the incident would just go away.