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from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Existing in English from the eighteenth century: from French manqué, past participle form of manquer ("to lack, to be lacking in").


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  • "In repudiating international law and the rights of independent nations, the American president claims a divinity based on the might of his 'indispensable nation'. It is a familiar message of imperial impunity, though always bracing to hear. Evoking the rise of fascism in the 1930s, Obama said, “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fibre of my being.” Historian Norman Pollack wrote: 'For goose-steppers, substitute the seemingly more innocuous militarisation of the total culture. And for the bombastic leader, we have the reformer manqué, blithely at work, planning and executing assassination, smiling all the while.'”

    - John Pilger, The Return Of Orwell And Big Brother's War On Palestine, Ukraine And Truth,,, 12 July 2014.

    July 13, 2014

  • "At first, I planned to take a degree in psychiatry as many manqué talents do; but I was even more manqué than that; a peculiar exhaustion, I am so oppressed, doctor, set in; and I switched to English literature, where so many frustrated poets end as pipe-smoking teachers in tweeds."

    Nabokov, Lolita

    March 1, 2011

  • Ha! Great example, John!

    November 29, 2007

  • "You don't understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it."

    Terry, On the Waterfront

    November 29, 2007