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any controversy that attracts great public attention, as a celebrated legal case or trial.
noun (pl) causes célèbres (ˈkɔːz səˈlɛbrəz; -ˈlɛb; ˈkɔːzɪz səˈlɛbrə; -ˈlɛbz; French) (koz selɛbrə)
a famous lawsuit, trial, or controversy
cause célèbre [(kohz say-leb-ruh, kawz suh-leb-ruh)]

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.”


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