One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An unceremonious dismissal or rejection of someone.‘she gives him his congé, and at the same time avows her real love for him’
dismissal, release, removal, ejection, ousting, expulsionView synonyms
- ‘For the first time, it is not beyond the realm of reality to envisage a situation in which he might become ‘unassailable’ - in the sense in which Nigel became so - and, as the penalty for economic failure, receive his congé.’
- ‘And then, realizing that I had received my congé, I prepared to depart.’
- ‘As it was he had lost everything that he had in the world, and had just received his congé from the bishop.’
- ‘The reader will now understand why I received my congé from Angelique with such perfect philosophy.’
Late Middle English (in the general sense ‘permission to do something’): from Old French congie, from Latin commeatus ‘leave of absence’, from commeare ‘go and come’. The word is now usually treated as equivalent to modern French.
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