Definitions for ci-devantsidəˈvɑ̃
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word ci-devant
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
former: used esp. in reference to a retired officeholder.
Origin of ci-devant:
F. lit. formerly
Former, late; formerly.
Origin: From ci-devant.
former; previous; of times gone by; as, a ci-devant governor
In post-Revolutionary France, ci-devant nobility were those nobles who refused to be reconstituted into the new social order or to accept any of the political, cultural, and social changes brought about in France by the French Revolution. They were often distinguished by their manners as much as by their political views, both of which remained loyal to the attitudes and values of pre-Revolutionary France. The term ci-devant, itself often derogatory, comes from the French, meaning "from before" and technically applied to members of the French nobility of the ancien régime after it had lost its titles and privileges during the French Revolution. "Ci-devant" may be compared to the English language term late, as it expresses the death of the nobility during the legislative agenda of the Revolution. Prior to the Revolution, the term ci-devant was a common expression, although then it was used to aristocrats who had fallen into financial or social ruin - namely "people or things dispossessed of their estate or quality."
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