a person who wields great
power and influence, but secretly or unofficially
Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 4th Edition. Copyright © 2010 by
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
Word origin of 'éminence grise'Fr, lit., gray eminence, nickname of François Leclerc du Tremblay (1577-1638), Fr
monk and confidential agent of, and an assumed influence over, Richelieu: so named
from the color of his habit