Definition of peau de chagrin in US English:

peau de chagrin

noun

  • Used allusively to indicate the progressive diminution of something, especially the human lifespan.

Origin

Mid 19th century; earliest use found in ‘George Eliot’ (1819–1880), novelist (real name Mary Ann Evans). From French peau de chagrin, lit. ‘skin of grained leather’ from peau + de + chagrin.