1 : a seal used especially as a mark of official approval
2 : a characteristic feature or quality conferring prestige; also : standing or estimation in the eyes of people : prestige
3 : a design, inscription, or advertisement printed or stamped on mail
“It’s been 70 years and the Sweetheart City is still going strong with its official valentine card and cachet. The Loveland Chamber of Commerce unveiled the 2016 artwork Tuesday….” — Erin Udell, The Fort Collins Coloradoan, 6 Jan. 2016
“TV is enjoying a surge in critical prestige and has taken over some of the cultural cachetthat used to be reserved for the movies.” — Ryan Faughnder, The Los Angeles Times, 2 Jan. 2017.
Did You Know?
In the years before the French Revolution, a lettre de cachet was a letter, signed by both the French king and another officer, that was used to authorize a person’s imprisonment. Documents such as these were usually made official by being marked with a seal pressed into soft wax. This seal was known in French as a cachet. The word was derived from the Middle French verb cacher, meaning “to press” or “to hide.” The “seal” sense of cachet has been used in English since the mid-17th century, and in the 19th century the word started acquiring its extended senses, first referring to a feature or quality conferring prestige, and by century’s end to prestige itself.