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A.Word.A.Day--lese majesty

Pronunciation RealAudio

This week's theme: terms from French.

lese majesty or lèse majesté (leez MAJ-uh-stee) noun

1. An offense against a sovereign power.

2. An attack against someone's dignity or against a custom or institution held sacred.

[From French lèse-majesté, from Latin crimen laesae maiestatis (the crime of injured majesty).]

See more usage examples of lese majesty in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

-Anu Garg (garg AT wordsmith.org)

"There was, though, one small sign of disenchantment. In a field well away from the airport, there was a scarecrow, dressed in the usual tatters, except for a pair of All Blacks tracksuit bottoms. Such lese majesty would have been unthinkable before the World Cup."
New Zealand: Natural Born Thriller; The Guardian (London, UK); Feb 5, 2000.

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