Definition of mal du siècle in US English:

mal du siècle


  • World-weariness.

    • ‘I find Weldon's coverage of her Girls' High School days rather sad, pathetic and tinged with a sort of private mal du siècle.’
    • ‘Zeno is a hypochondriacal, neurotic, delightful, solipsistic, self-examining and self-serving bourgeois, a true blossom of the mal du siècle.’
    • ‘Never before nor after, so far as I know, has the famous mal du siècle been so succinctly expressed in a single sentence.’
    • ‘For the Romantics, mal du siècle was the equivalent of ‘The Elizabethan Malady.’’
    • ‘He is also a principal figure in French romanticism although his romanticism is less the melancholy, maudlin mal du siècle of many his contemporaries.’


French, literally ‘sickness of the century’.


mal du siècle

/ˌmal də sēˈek(lə)/