< /ˈkɔz səˈlɛb rəz, səˈlɛbz, ˈkɔ zɪz səˈlɛb rə, -ˈlɛb; French koʊz seɪˈlɛb rə/.
- any controversy that attracts great public attention, as a celebrated legal case or trial.
noun plural causes célèbres (ˈkɔːz səˈlɛbrəz, -ˈlɛb, ˈkɔːzɪz səˈlɛbrə, -ˈlɛbz, French koz selɛbrə)
- a famous lawsuit, trial, or controversy
A cause or issue, generally political, that arouses public opinion: “The question of the draft was a cause célèbre in the 1960s.” From French, meaning “celebrated cause.”