Definition of louche in English:



  • Disreputable or sordid in a rakish or appealing way.

    ‘the louche world of the theatre’
    • ‘The tousled hair's intact, but, at 57, the formerly cherubic face is somewhat worn, making him look more louche than ever.’
    • ‘So many, and not just the young, want the ambience - a louche, bohemian, coffee house style - and not the substance.’
    • ‘‘He's a wretch,’ says Amis in his familiar louche drawl, at its sneary best on such occasions, and perfect for them.’
    • ‘The story centres on Sebastian, a louche and over - indulged New Orleans playboy, who has perished in ugly circumstances overseas.’
    • ‘Lounge lizards will welcome this louche downtown bar boasting one of North America's largest vodka selections not to mention world-class wines.’
    • ‘He made no apologies for his rackety lifestyle, his liking for louche and even sleazy companions, his lavish consumption of cigars, brandy and champagne.’
    • ‘Sure enough, its reputation for unorthodoxy has gradually brought together a louche bunch of demented geniuses.’
    • ‘The historically louche behaviour definitely has more charm.’
    • ‘Their two-year courtship was spent among the Chelsea set - a fast group of bohemian artists and media types not averse to giving louche parties.’
    • ‘I was telling him about last night and he described me as sounding languid and louche, and consequently correctly guessed that I was still in bed.’
    • ‘Service was reasonably snappy, if occasionally louche, the prices were very reasonable given the size of the portions and the ambience was mixed and lively.’
    • ‘Somewhere between circus and living sculpture, it has the thrills and spills of the big top, the aesthetic sensibility of ballet and a hint of louche cabaret.’
    • ‘Sitting at a nearby table, under a revolving mirror ball, Steve seems immune to such louche diversions.’
    • ‘If you can't dance, stand at the bar and look louche.’
    • ‘The man was from Mexico, a London boy transplanted into a hot Hispanic city, where he was throwing away his brains and education on a louche life of nightclubs and restaurants.’
    • ‘Fresh of face and louche of manner, they are equal parts Dickensian urchins and Wildean dandies.’
    • ‘Witty examinations of the more louche aspects of sexuality are masked by music so exquisite that the provocative subject matter barely registers.’
    • ‘Although it enjoys a louche reputation among the druggie and stag-party sets, it's actually one of the most refined, stylish cities I know.’
    • ‘The spies on both sides are pretty louche characters, and espionage is portrayed as intimately bound up with military and business interests.’
    • ‘He was blond and good-looking, if a touch louche: a bit like a minor character out of PG Wodehouse, only with a Dublin accent.’
    scandalous, of bad reputation, infamous, notorious, louche
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Early 19th century: from French, literally squinting.