Definition of ancien régime in English:

ancien régime

nounplural noun anciens régimes/ˌänsēen rəˈZHēm/ /ˌɑnsiɛn rəˈʒim/

  • 1A political or social system that has been displaced, typically by one more modern.

    ‘the feudal institutions of the ancien régime began to be dismantled’
    • ‘Having espoused Marxism as their ideological guide, they succeeded in making it the only credible political alternative to the ancien régime.’
    • ‘The nineteenth century saw the emergence of Italy as a unified state and as a modern political system, moving from the ancien régime of monarchs and feudal aristocracies to an elected parliament and civil rights.’
    • ‘In the 19th century the Vatican was propped up by, ironically, northern Protestant governments as a symbol of the ancien régime, of political legitimacy and the lost world.’
    • ‘The conservatives were among the first to claim history as the basis of post-revolutionary politics, largely inventing the notion of an ancien régime as they looked back in grief and anger.’
    • ‘It is hard to imagine a more immoral system of redistributing wealth, which recalls the ancien régime's infamous tax on salt.’
    • ‘Centuries of inbreeding and indolence produced an ancien régime that was equally rich in wealthy idiots and bigoted aristos.’
    • ‘The French moderates who first ruled after the fall of the ancien régime in 1789 eventually gave way to radical, authoritarian Jacobins, whose demise in turn produced Napoleon.’
    • ‘Talleyrand said that he who had not experienced the ancien régime (as an aristocrat, of course) knew nothing of the sweetness of life.’
    • ‘Gieske points out that considerations of height played an insignificant role for aristocratic couples in the ancien régime.’
    • ‘Arno Mayer made a well-documented case to show that the outbreak of war in 1914 was part of a rearguard action by the anciens régimes in Europe to resist the rise of industrial capitalism.’
    • ‘It is a fundamental mistake to believe that Nazism is a revival or a continuation of the policies and mentalities of the ancien régime or a display of the ‘Prussian spirit.’’
    • ‘The fate of this revolutionary was surely the fate of the people as a whole under Stalinist dictatorship: the millions who overthrew the ancien régime, and were then forced to build monuments to their own revolutionary past.’
    • ‘Bauer denounced the ancien régime and its Restoration surrogates as a feudal system of tutelage and irrational privileges.’
    • ‘He was far more powerful than a monarch of the ancien régime.’
    • ‘Darnton has shown that pornography was often enlisted in the attack on the ancien régime, but he describes such politically motivated pornographic writing as the underside or lowlife of Enlightenment literature.’
    • ‘As for ‘public opinion,’ it was widely employed in the ancien régime as a conservative force to be mobilized from the centre in support of the monarchy and nobility.’
    • ‘But Burke's point was not reactionary; he was not endorsing the ancien régime per se.’
    • ‘First there was the old order, the ancien régime, the regime of caste and frozen status, of exploitation by a despotic ruling class, using the church to dupe the masses into accepting its rule.’
    • ‘Members of the ancien régime were being casually murdered by the mob.’
    • ‘One must subsume under it societies as different as those of classical antiquity and those of the European ancien régime.’
    1. 1.1Ancien RégimeThe political and social system in France before the Revolution of 1789.
      ‘In the previous volume in this series it was argued that the French Revolution created both the Ancien Régime and the Enlightenment because it provided the teleological lens through which they were viewed by later observers.’
      • ‘In his last historical essay, Furet even forgot himself so far as to write once again of the ‘revolutionary bourgeoisie’ that had carried France out of the Ancien Régime, almost as if he now saw merit in the catechism he had so long denounced.’
      • ‘The virtues that impressed its original reviewers - freshness, originality, and the ability to express ‘many thoughts in few words' - continue to strike the contemporary reader of the L' Ancien Régime et la Révolution.’
      • ‘In the corrupt and desolate wasteland of the Ancien Régime, the Revolutionaries proclaimed, the philosophers had cast welcoming rays of light and reason, stirring the dull roots of popular discontent.’
      • ‘One of the founding myths of the French Revolution was the myth of the Ancien Régime.’
      • ‘Few books in recent decades have been so successful in mining a vast amount of primary material in order to evoke the arguments and counter arguments that shaped policy in an Ancien Régime monarchy.’
      • ‘The regional prefects of 1964 represented a return to the intendants of the Ancien Régime, and the CODER served the interests of local politicians and business leaders eager for planning concessions, not regionalist campaigners.’
      • ‘In spite of the revolutionaries' rejection of the Ancien Régime heritage of dynastic conquest, they were under pressure to attain the same greatness as the kings they had overthrown.’
      • ‘To conclude, the grand motet is a Franco-French genre developed at the beginning of the personal reign of Louis XIV and which lasted until the end of the Ancien Régime.’
      • ‘This article is therefore focused on one of the most routinised ceremonies ever performed during the Ancien Régime: the royal Mass.’
      • ‘Even thereafter the story of its diffusion is fitful and contradictory, largely because of the chaotic structure of the Ancien Régime.’
      • ‘At the same time an amnesty was decreed for all those who had fought for freedom under the Ancien Régime.’
      • ‘Charting the history of the French Revolution from the Ancien Régime to Napoleon, I couldn't put down Vive la Revolution.’
      • ‘The armed Bonapartist solution to the chaos of the Convention and the intrigues of the Directory ultimately produced larger liberties than the Ancien Régime and more useful gestures towards legal equality.’
      • ‘Later, after the Restoration, subjects from the history of the Ancien Régime were almost as frequent in state commissions as big devotional pictures to replace those lost in the Revolution.’
      • ‘The Comte de Saint-Germain, Louis XV's war minister, instituted reforms which ran squarely into some of those vested interests which bedevilled the last decades of the Ancien Régime.’
      • ‘The national hero of the spring of 1789, and the methods and policies he stood for, were now as superseded as the whole Ancien Régime that he had done more than any other man to bring down.’
      • ‘The prison governor refused them entry and the mob stormed and captured the State Prison, an action which came to signify the end of the Ancien Régime and the beginning of the French Revolution.’


ancien régime

/ˌänsēen rəˈZHēm/ /ˌɑnsiɛn rəˈʒim/


French, literally ‘old rule’.