One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(In France) a type of school existing between 1795 and 1802 providing secondary education for boys in a wide variety of subjects and serving a whole département.
2(In England and Wales) a school providing post-primary education with a technical or vocational emphasis to students not selected for secondary education in grammar or technical schools.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in The Morning Chronicle. Originally after French école centrale.
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