Vocabulary builder

Sunday, October 20, 2019

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recherché

adjective [ruh-shair-shey, ruh-shair-shey; French ruh-sher-shey]

sought out with care.

 

What is the origin of recherché?

The adjective recherché, meaning “carefully sought out, rare, exotic, obscure, elegant, pretentious”, comes straight from French recherché, the past participle of the verb rechercher, which means “to look for carefully, research.”

The prefix re-, in rechercher, indicates repetition; the verb chercher “to look for” comes from Late Latin circre “to go around,” a derivation of circus “circle.” (English search comes from Old French cerchier, French chercher.) Recherché entered English in the 17th century.

 

How is recherché used?

...a tasteful and récherché stock of frames and feathers and ribbons was chosen ....

- William Dean Howells, A Woman's Reason, 1882

 

But, among the books which load their shelves, there is the most recherché collection of European standard works to be found in this country...

- “Scribner & Co,” New York Times, December 12, 1874


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