éminence grise(redirected from éminence grises)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms.
ém·i·nence grise(ā-mē-näNs grēz′)
n. pl. ém·i·nence grises (ā-mē-näNs grēz′)
A powerful adviser or decision maker who operates secretly or unofficially. Also called gray eminence.
[French, the power behind the throne : éminence, power + grise, feminine of gris, gray, shadowy.]
éminence grise(eminɑ̃s ɡriz)
n, pl éminences grises (eminɑ̃s ɡriz)
a person who wields power and influence unofficially or behind the scenes
[C19: literally: grey eminence, originally applied to Père Joseph (François Le Clerc du Tremblay; died 1638), French monk, secretary of Cardinal Richelieu]
a person who wields unofficial power, esp. through another person and often surreptitiously or privately. Also called éminence grise.
[1940–45; translation of French éminence grise]
A French phrase meaning gray eminence, used to refer to someone who wields considerable power behind the scenes. It was originally applied to a French monk who was the private secretary of Cardinal Richelieu, virtual ruler of France under Louis XIII.
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||eminence grise - (French) a person who exercises power or influence in certain areas without holding an official position; "the President's wife is an eminence grise in matters of education"|
French - the Romance language spoken in France and in countries colonized by France