Definition of éminence grise in English:

éminence grise

Pronunciation /ˌemənəns ˈɡrēz/ /ˌɛmənəns ˈɡriz/

Translate éminence grise into Spanish

nounéminences grises

  • A person who exercises power or influence in a certain sphere without holding an official position.

    ‘for years he has been an éminence grise operating in the shadows of party policy-making’
    • ‘But the Hutton inquiry isn't the kind of thing that éminences grises and powers behind thrones are used to.’


1930s French, literally ‘gray eminence’. The term was originally applied to Cardinal Richelieu's gray-cloaked private secretary, Père Joseph (1577–1638).