Definition of trahison des clercs in English:

trahison des clercs


  • A betrayal of intellectual, artistic, or moral standards by writers, academics, or artists.

    ‘The worst betrayal of society has been the trahison des clercs - the decline of writing and the arts into a squalid celebration of all the most cloacal elements of human existence.’
    • ‘She is, after all, writing about intellectuals and accusing them of a trahison des clercs, but her mode of analysis could apply just as easily to carpenters or accountants as to writers and artists.’
    • ‘There has certainly been a trahison des clercs.’
    • ‘Despite the outcry from teachers now, there has been a trahison des clercs.’
    • ‘Yet, amid all the sound and fury, the most contemptible phenomenon is the trahison des clercs.’
    • ‘Half the contributors to this book are British or British colonials, and all of them have the same grim story to tell - the story, in a nutshell, of le trahison des clercs.’
    disloyalty, treachery, perfidy, perfidiousness, bad faith, faithlessness, falseness


trahison des clercs

/träˌēˌzôn dā ˈklār/ /trɑˌiˌzɔn deɪ ˈkleɪr/ /trāˌzän dā ˈklərk/ /treɪˌzɑn deɪ ˈklərk/


French, literally ‘treason of the scholars’, the title of a book by Julien Benda (1927).