"much sought-after, uncommon, rare," 1722, from French recherché "carefully sought out," past-participle adjective from rechercher "to seek out" (12c.), from re-, here perhaps suggesting repeated activity (see re-) + chercher "to search," from Latin circare, in Late Latin "to wander hither and thither," from circus "circle" (see circus). Commonly used 19c. of food, styles, etc., to denote obscure excellence. "Àla recherchedu temps perdu" is the title of Proust's great novel of reminiscence (1913).