Definition of radical chic in US English:

radical chic


  • 1The fashionable affectation of radical left-wing views.

    as modifier ‘he completely immersed himself in the subculture of radical chic liberals’
    • ‘It's for people from the suburbs who think Monet is far-out radical chic or don't know that abstract expressionism is passé.’
    • ‘This time, he had gone too far with a mixed-up-media theater piece that took religion, pop culture, radical chic, symphonic pretension, and sheer gall to new extremes of bad taste.’
    • ‘Beard, beret, curly hair and bandana knotted round his throat, he was the epitome of a certain type of radical chic, rivalling that of James Dean, and his image is to be found on the walls of student rooms even today.’
    • ‘The poem is perhaps intended to be taken with a pinch of salt, but there is no mistaking its air of radical chic.’
    • ‘But these were largely radical chic, middle-class affairs, fought to an agenda.’
    • ‘Derrida, who taught at Harvard and the Sorbonne, became the epitome of radical chic in the intellectual world of the 1970s and 1980s with his controversial theories.’
    • ‘Hiding beneath the mask of radical chic lies a deeply sentimental story.’
    • ‘Bernstein, who later personified radical chic in his support of the Black Panthers, would never return to the attitude of ‘Krupke.’’
    1. 1.1 The dress, lifestyle, or people associated with the fashionable affectation of radical left-wing views.
      ‘the heyday of the hippie ethos and radical chic’
      • ‘In one of the stranger marriages of radical chic and conservative politics, the singer surprised delegates at a workshop on poor country debt relief by announcing he would visit Africa with the US Treasury Secretary.’
      • ‘They emerged from 1960s radical chic to become America's most wanted fugitives.’
      • ‘With the emergence of the New Left and radical chic, it was inevitable that Encounter's Cold War liberalism would lose its éclat.’
      • ‘In the heyday of the hippie ethos and radical chic, Fogerty ingeniously formulated a downriver idyll of freedom and benevolence at the heart of America.’
      • ‘However much contempt I have for the radical chic here at home, I have even more for the protesters abroad.’
      • ‘Writing in an era when radical chic was in high fashion, his books were always a medium for social analysis, appealing to the sensibilities of his readers.’


1970: coined by the US writer Tom Wolfe.


radical chic

/ˈrædəkəl ʃik/