Definition of louche in US English:



  • Disreputable or sordid in a rakish or appealing way.

    ‘the louche world of the theater’
    • ‘‘He's a wretch,’ says Amis in his familiar louche drawl, at its sneary best on such occasions, and perfect for them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The tousled hair's intact, but, at 57, the formerly cherubic face is somewhat worn, making him look more louche than ever.’
    • ‘Lounge lizards will welcome this louche downtown bar boasting one of North America's largest vodka selections not to mention world-class wines.’
    • ‘So many, and not just the young, want the ambience - a louche, bohemian, coffee house style - and not the substance.’
    • ‘Fresh of face and louche of manner, they are equal parts Dickensian urchins and Wildean dandies.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The historically louche behaviour definitely has more charm.’
    • ‘Sitting at a nearby table, under a revolving mirror ball, Steve seems immune to such louche diversions.’
    • ‘The story centres on Sebastian, a louche and over - indulged New Orleans playboy, who has perished in ugly circumstances overseas.’
    • ‘Witty examinations of the more louche aspects of sexuality are masked by music so exquisite that the provocative subject matter barely registers.’
    • ‘If you can't dance, stand at the bar and look louche.’
    • ‘He made no apologies for his rackety lifestyle, his liking for louche and even sleazy companions, his lavish consumption of cigars, brandy and champagne.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Sure enough, its reputation for unorthodoxy has gradually brought together a louche bunch of demented geniuses.’
    • ‘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.’
    scandalous, of bad reputation, infamous, notorious
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Early 19th century: from French, literally ‘squinting’.