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French words in English/Catalogs

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An informational catalog, or several catalogs, about French words in English.

List of French words in English

This is a list of words that retain their French spelling in English. Some of them may also feature written French accents, or be written in italics, or have a strange or little-known pronunciation in English, in any combination.

The accents in the pronunciation column show stress and pronunciation (see English spellings for a table). The equals sign (=) introduces a word that has the same pronunciation (no other kind of connection is implied). Words in italics suggest meaning.

Click on any of the letters below to see the words beginning with that letter.

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

Spelling

(All French accents placed over vowels are included here, though they are frequently omitted in English)

Pronunciation[1]
à basdown with (à bas the profiteers) à-bà
abatis, abattisa defensive obstacle formed by felled trees with sharpened branches facing the enemy ábatis, abáttis
abattoira slaughterhouse ábətwar
abbéa member of the French secular clergy ábbay
absinthe[2]a green liqueur flavored with wormwood, anise, & other herbs ábsínth, ábsànth; or -t
accouchementthe time or act of giving birth acoûshmàn
accoucheurone that assists at a birth, esp. an obstetrician acoushër
accoutrementacoûtrəmón
à deuxprivately or intimately with only two present à-dë
adieufarewell adyë
(agent) provocateurone who incites others to some incriminating action ázhonprovoca-tër
aide(-de-camp)—a military aide or civilian aide to an executive = âid help dəcàn
aigrettea spray of feathers for the head aigrét
aide-mémoirea mnemonic or a written summary or outline of important items = âid help mém-wàr
aiguillea sharp-pointed pinnacle of rock aigwîl
aiguillettea shoulder cord worn by designated military aides aigwilét
ailerona movable airfoil on the trailing edge of an airplane wing âileron
-airelike its anglicised form '-ary', forms nouns and adjectives = ãir breathe
à la cartea menu with each item's price shown separately àlà càrt
à la modefashionable, stylish; topped with ice cream àlà môde
amour propreself-esteem amorprópr
amuse-bouchea small complimentary appetizer offered at some restaurants amûse boûsh
amuse-gueulea small complimentary appetizer offered at some restaurants[3] amûse gïrl (BrE gïrl)
ancien régimea system or mode no longer prevailing ánciàrè-zhêem
aperçua brief survey or sketch; outline; immediate impression; insight aperçu
apéritifan alcoholic drink taken before a meal as an appetizer aperitêef
appellationa name for a geographical area where authorized wines are made appellâtion
appliquéa cutout decoration fastened to a larger piece of material áplì-kây
aprèsafter; usually used in combination, ie, après-theater aprây
après-skisocial activity after a day's skiing apray-skì
arabesquea ballet posture, or elaborate or intricate pattern arabésk
arbitrage[4]the nearly simultaneous purchase and sale of securities or foreign exchange in different markets to order to profit from price discrepancies àrbitràzh
argotvocabulary and idiom peculiar to a certain group, slang = Àrgo ship
arrasa wall hanging or screen of tapestry árras
arrière-banproclamation of a French king calling his vassals to arms; the body of vassals summoned áriér-bán
arrière-penséea mental reservation áriér-pànsây
arrivéone who has risen rapidly to success, power, or fame arrêevây
arrivistea new and uncertain arrival as in social position or artistic endeavor árì-vêest
arrondissementadministrative district of some large French cities; the largest division of a French department áron-dêesmon
artistea skilled adept public performer; an artistic or creative person artêest
art moderneart deco armo-dérn
art nouveaua design style of the late 19th century characterized by sinuous lines and foliate forms arnu-vô
attachéa technical expert on a country's diplomatic staff at a foreign capital ətáshay
atelieran artist's or designer's studio or workroom; a workshop ətéliây
aubadea song or poem greeting the dawn; morning music ô-bàd
aubergeinn ô-bérzh
aubergine[5]eggplant ôberzhêen
Aubussona figured scenic tapestry for wall hanging or upholstery ôbə-són
au courantfashionable, stylish; fully familiar, conversant ôcù-ràn
au faitto the point; fully competent; fully informed; socially correct ôh Fây
au fondat bottom; fundamentally ô-fón
au gratincovered with bread crumbs or grated cheese and browned (as under a broiler) ôgra-tán
au jusserved in the juice obtained from roasting (referring to meat) ô-zhû
au naturelcooked or served plainly; nude ônatu-rél
au paira young foreign person who cares for children in return for room and board and the opportunity to learn the family's language ô-pãir
au poivreprepared or served with a generous amount of coarsely ground black pepper, as "steak au poivre" ô-pwàhvr
au revoirgoodbye, see you again ôrə-vwàr
auteuran artist (musician or writer) or film director whose style and practice are distinctive ô-tër
avalanchea mass of snow, rock and ice descending a mountain rapidly ávalanche
avantculturally or stylistically advanced, as "avant jazz" á-vàn
avant-gardean intelligensia that develops new or experimental concepts, esp. in the arts ávàn-gàrde
avant la lettrebefore a specified name for the category existed, e.g., "Douanier Rousseau was an avant la lettre surrealist painter", i.e., before that term was invented avànlà-létrə
avenue ávenue
avoirdupois, avoir-du-poisweight; heaviness; personal weight; expressed in avoirdupois weight avrdupŏiz
badinageplayful repartee, banter bádinàzh
bagasseplant residue, as of sugarcane or grapes, left after a product has been extracted bagásse
bagatellea trifle; various games involving rolling balls into scoring areas; a short literary or musical piece in a light style bagatélle
baguettea small molding; a gem in the shape of a long narrow rectangle; a long thin loaf of French bread bagét
bain-mariea cooking utensil containing heated water in which food in smaller pots is cooked bán-marìe
balladea fixed verse form of three stanzas; a musical composition, usually for piano suggesting the epic ballad ballàde
balletdancing in which conventional poses and steps are combined with light, flowing figures, as leaps and turns; music composed for this bálay
bandeaua fillet or band for the hair; brassiere; a band-shaped covering for the breasts bandô
banderolea long, narrow flag or streamer; a long scroll bearing an inscription or a device banderôle
banlieuea French suburban housing block; suburbs containing these bàn-lyë
banquettea built-in upholstered bench along a wall bàn-két
baroquecharacterized by grotesqueness, extravagance, or flamboyance; an irregularly shaped pearl barôk, barók
barquettea small boat-shaped pastry shell barkét
barragean artificial dam; artillery fire; a vigorous projection of many things at once, as "a barrage of protests" bárràzh
batonmusic conductor's stick, policeman's hitting implement, army officer's ceremonial stick BrE bátón, AmE bətón
béarnaisea sauce of egg yolks and butter flavored with shallots, wine, vinegar, and seasonings béar-nâyz
beau (singular), beaux (plural)[6]a dandy; a boyfriend singular, bôz plural[7]
beaucoup (slang)—great in quantity or amount; many , much, e.g., "he spent beaucoup dollars" bô-coô
beau geste (singular), beaux gestes or beau gestes (plural)—a graceful or magnanimous gesture; an ingratiating conciliatory gesture bô-zhést
beau idéal (singular)[8], beaux idéals (plural)—the perfect type or model bôwidây-ál, bôzidây-ál
beau mondethe world of high society and fashion bô-mónd
beaux artsthe fine arts bô-zàr
beigea cloth made of natural undyed wool; a variable color averaging light grayish-yellowish brown; a pale to grayish yellow bâizh
bellea popular and attractive girl or woman; especially a girl or woman whose charm and beauty make her a favorite, ie, "the belle of the ball" = béll ring
belle époquea period of high artistic or cultural development; especially such a period in fin de siècle France bélây-pók
belles lettresliterature that is an end in itself and not merely informative; specifically, light, entertaining, and often sophisticated literature béll létra
béreta visorless, usually woolen cap with a tight headband and a soft full, flat top béray
bête noirea person or thing strongly detested or avoided; bugbear bét-nwàr
beurre blanca seasoned butter sauce (as for fish) flavored with white wine, shallots, and vinegar or lemon juice bër-blànc
beurre maniéflour and butter kneaded together used as a thickener in sauces bër-mániay
beurre noirbutter heated until brown or black and often flavored with vinegar or lemon juice bër-nwàr
béziquea card game similar to pinochle that is played with a pack of 64 cards bəzêek
bidet a bathroom fixture used especially for bathing the external genitals and the anal region BrE bêedây, AmE bidây, bidét
bizarrestrikingly out of the ordinary: odd, extravagant, or eccentric in style or mode; involving sensational contrasts or incongruities bí-zàr, cf. bazàar shop, bə-
blancmangea usually sweetened and flavored dessert made from gelatinous or starchy ingredients and milk bləmànzh
blaséapathetic to pleasure or excitement as a result of excessive indulgence or enjoyment; world-weary; sophisticated, worldly-wise; unconcerned blà-zây
blousona garment (as a dress) having a close waistband with blousing of material over it bloûzon
boîtea nightclub bwút
bon mota clever remark; witticism bón-mô
bon tona fashionable manner or style; the fashionable or proper thing; high society bón-tón
bon vivanta person having cultivated, refined, and sociable tastes especially with respect to food and drink bón-vìvàn
bonhomiegood-natured easy friendliness bónóm-êe
boucléan uneven yarn of three plies, one of which forms loops at intervals; a fabric of bouclé yarn boûclây
boudina blood sausage, especially "boudin noir"; a spicy Cajun sausage containing rice and meat (as pork) or seafood boûdán
boudoira woman's dressing room, bedroom, or private sitting room boûdwàr
bouffantpuffed out, as bouffant hairdos or bouffant veils boûffàn
bougiea wax candle; a tapering cylindrical instrument for introduction into a tubular passage of the body; a suppository boozhêe
bouillabaissea highly seasoned fish stew made with at least two kinds of fish; a potpourri bwêeabâisse
bouillona clear seasoned soup made usually from lean beef; broadly, broth bwêeon
boule[9]a synthethically formed mass (as of sapphire) with the atomic structure of a single crystal boûle
boulevarda broad, often landscaped thoroughfare boûlevard
boulevardiera frequenter of the Parisian boulevards; broadly, a man-about-town boôlə-vàrdiay
bouleversementa reversal; a violent disturbance; disorder boôlə-vérsmón
bouquetflowers picked and fastened together in a bunch, a nosegay; a medley, such a bouquet of songs, a compliment; a distinctive and characteristic fragrance, as of wine; a subtle aroma or quality, as of an artistic performance boukây
bouquet garnian herb mixture that is either tied together or enclosed in a porous container and is cooked with a dish but removed before serving boukâygar-nêe
bourgeois—adjective: of, relating to, or characteristic of the townsman or of the social middle class; marked by a concern for material interests and respectability and a tendency toward mediocrity; dominated by commercial and industrial interests; capitalistic; noun: a burgher; a middle-class person; a person with social behavior and political views held to be influenced by private-property interest; a capitalist bŏrzhwà
bourgeoise—noun: a woman of the middle class bŏrzhwàz
bourgeoisiethe middle class; also plural in construction, as "members of the middle class"; a social order dominated by bourgeois bŏrzhwà-zì
bourguignonne, bourguignonprepared or served in the manner of Burgundy (as with a sauce made with red wine), ie, "beef bourguignonne" bŏrgin-yon
bourréea 17th century French dance usually in quick duple time; a musical composition with the rhythm of this dance; a pas de bourrée bŏrây
bourridea fish stew similar to bouillabaisse that is usually thickened with egg yolks and strongly flavored with garlic bourrìde
boursean exchange, specifically a European stock exchange; a sale of numismatic or philatelic items on tables (as at a convention) bŏrse
boutiquea small, fashionable shop; a small shop within a large department store; a small company that offers highly specialized services or products, such as "boutique wineries", "an independent investment boutique" bootêek
boutonnièrea flower or bouquet worn in a buttonhole boôtoni-ére
Bouvier des Flandresany of a breed of large, powerfully built rough-coated dogs of Belgian origin used especially for herding and in guard work—called also a Bouvier Boûviâydây-Flàndrə
brasseriean informal, usually French restaurant serving simple hearty food brásserie
brassièrea woman's undergarment to cover and support the breasts bráziére
bric-à-braca miscellaneous collection of small articles commonly of ornamental or sentimental value; curios; something suggesting bric-à-brac especially in extraneous decorative quality brícabrac
briea soft, surface-ripened cheese with a whitish rind and a pale yellow interior brìe
briochea light, slightly sweet bread made with a rich yeast dough brêe-ósh
buffeta sideboard; a counter for refreshments; chiefly British, a restaurant operating in a public space (as in a railway station); a meal set out on a buffet or table for ready access and informal service bùffay, boôfay
bureauBritish: a writing desk, especially one having drawers and a slant top; a low chest of drawers for use in a bedroom; a specialized administrative unit, especially a subdivision of an executive department of a government; a branch of a newspaper, newsmagazine, or wire service in an important news center; a usually commercial agency that serves as an intermediary especially for exchanging information or coordinating activities, ie "credit bureau" bûro
bureau de changean office at airports, railway terminals, etc., where one can buy foreign currency bûrodə-shónzh
burette or bureta graduated glass tube with a small aperture and stopcock for delivering measured quantities of liquid or for measuring the liquid or gas received or discharged burét
burlesquea literary or dramatic work that seeks to ridicule by means of grotesque exaggeration or comic imitation; mockery. usually by caricature; theatrical entertainment of a broadly humorous. often earthy character, consisting of short turns, comic skits, and sometimes striptease acts burlésk
cabaretarchaic: a shop selling wines and liquors; a restaurant serving liquor and providing entertainment, as by singers or dancers; a nightclub; the show provided at a cabaret cábəray
cabernet franca dry red wine often used in blends, as with merlot or cabernet sauvignon cábernây-fràn, some AmE cábernây-fránk
cabernet sauvignona dry red wine made from a single widely cultivated variety of black grape—called also cabernet cábernâysovêen-yón
cabotagea trade or transport in coastal waters or airspace or between two points within a country; the right to engage in cabotage cábotàzh
cabotina second-rate actor, strolling player cábotán
cabriolea ballet leap in which one leg is extended in midair and the other struck against it; a curved furniture leg ending in an ornamental foot cábriôle
cabrioleta light, 2-wheeled one-horse carriage with a folding leather hood, a large apron, and upward-curving shafts; a convertible coupe cabriolây
CAC 40 (CAC quarante) các-carànt
cachalota sperm whale cáshalót, cáshalô
cachea hiding place, especially for concealing and preserving provisions or implements; a secure place of storage; something hidden or stored in a cache; a computer memory with very short access time used for storage of frequently or recently used instructions or data—called also cache memory = cásh money
cachepotan ornamental receptacle to hold and usually to conceal a flowerpot cáshpo, cáshpót
cacheta seal used especially as a mark of official approval; an indication of approval carrying great prestige; a characteristic feature or quality conferring prestige; prestige; a medicinal preparation for swallowing consisting of a case usually of rice-flour paste enclosing a medicine; a design or inscription on an envelope to commemorate a postal or philatelic event; an advertisement forming part of a postage meter impression; a motto or slogan included in a postal cancellation cáshây
cachoua pill or pastille used to sweeten the breath = cáshew nut
caféa usually small and informal establishment serving various refreshments (as coffee); broadly, a restaurant, barroom, cabaret, or nightclub cáfè
café au laitcoffee with usually hot milk in about equal parts; the color of coffee with milk cáfè ôh lây
café noircoffee without milk or cream; also a demitasse cafè nwàr
cahiera report or memorial concerning policy especially of a parliamentary body càyay
camemberta soft, surface-ripened cheese with a thin grayish-white rind and a yellow interior cámembér
camouflagethe disguising, especially of military equipment or installations with paint, nets, or foliage; also the disguise so applied; concealment by means of disguise; behavior or artifice designed to deceive or hide cáməflàzh
canapéan appetizer consisting of a piece of bread or toast or a cracker topped with a savory spread such as caviar or cheese; a kind of hors d'oeuvre cánapè
canaillethe rabble; riffraff; proletarian canàî, kənŷ
canarda false or unfounded report or story, especially a fabricated report; a groundless rumor or belief; an airplane with horizontal stabilizing and control surfaces in front of supporting surfaces; a small airfoil in front of the wing of an aircraft that can increase the aircraft's performance cánàrd
capricea sudden, impulsive, and seemingly unmotivated notion or action; a sudden, usually unpredictable condition, change, or series of changes (the caprices of the weather); a disposition to do things impulsively caprìce
caramelan amorphous brittle brown and somewhat bitter substance obtained by heating sugar and used as a coloring and flavoring agent; a firm, chewy, usually caramel-flavored candy cáramél
carrousel[10]a tournament or exhibition in which horsemen execute evolutions; a merry-go-round; a circular conveyor (the luggage carousel at the airport); a revolving case or tray used for storage or display carəssél
carte blanchefull discretionary power (was given carte blanche to furnish the house) càrt-blànsh
cause célèbrea legal case that excites widespread interest; a notorious person, thing, incident, or episode côze-celébrə; informally cåuse celéb
centre (French and British spelling) = cénter (American spelling of same word)
cerisea moderate red cerìse
c'est la viethat's life; that's how things happen sâyla-vêe
c'est la guerrethat's war; it cannot be helped sâyla-gãir
Chablisa dry, sharp, white burgundy wine; a semidry, soft, white California wine shábly
chaconnean old Spanish dance tune of Latin-American origin; a musical composition in moderate triple time typically consisting of variations on a repeated succession of chords chacónne
chacun à son goûteveryone to his own taste shákən-ason-goô
chagrindisquietude or distress of mind caused by humiliation, disappointment, or failure shágrin
chaise longue shéz lóng
chaleta remote herdsman's hut in the Alps; a Swiss dwelling with unconcealed structural members and a wide overhang at the front and sides; a cottage or house in chalet style shálay
chamoisa small, goatlike bovid (Rupicapra rupicapra) of mountainous regions from southern Europe to the Caucasus; also chammy or shammy: a soft pliant leather prepared from the skin of the chamois or from sheepskin; a cotton fabric made in imitation of chamois leather BrE shámwà, AmE shámmy
Champagne, BrE champagne[11]a white, sparkling wine made in the old province of Champagne, France; also, a similar wine made elsewhere; a pale orange yellow to light grayish-yellowish brown shám pâin
chansona song; specifically, a music-hall or cabaret song shànson
chanteusea songstress, especially a woman who is a concert or nightclub singer BrE shàn-tëz, AmE shán-tûz
chapeau (singular), chapeaux (plural)—hat sháppo, sháppôz
chaperona person (as a matron) who for propriety accompanies one or more young unmarried women in public or in mixed company; an older person who accompanies young people at a social gathering to ensure proper behavior; broadly, one delegated to ensure proper behavior; any of a class of proteins that facilitate the proper folding of proteins by binding to and stabilizing unfolded or partially folded proteins—called also molecular chaperone sháperôn
charabanc—British: a sight-seeing motor coach shárabang
charadea word represented in riddling verse or by picture, tableau, or dramatic action; plural, a game in which some of the players try to guess a word or phrase from the actions of another player who may not speak; an empty or deceptive act or pretense ("his concern was a charade") BrE shəràd, AmE shərâde
charcuteriea delicatessen specializing in dressed meats and meat dishes; also the products sold in such a shop sharcûterie
chargé d'affairesa subordinate diplomat who substitutes for an absent ambassador or minister; a diplomat inferior in rank to an ambassador or minister who heads a mission when no ambassador or minister is assigned shàrzhâydá-fãir
charivaria shivaree: a noisy mock serenade to a newly married couple BrE sharivàri, AmE shivarêe
charlottea dessert consisting of a filling (as of fruit, whipped cream, or custard) layered with or placed in a mold lined with strips of bread, ladyfingers, or biscuits shàrlot
charlotte russea charlotte made with sponge cake or ladyfingers and a whipped-cream or custard-gelatin filling shàrlot rûss
chartreusea variable color averaging a brilliant yellow green BrE shartrëuz, AmE shartreûz
chasséa sliding dance step resembling the galop shássay
chasseura hunter , huntsman; one of a body of light cavalry or infantry trained for rapid maneuvering; a liveried attendant, a footman shassur
châssis[12]the supporting frame of a structure, as an automobile or television; also, the frame and working parts, as of an automobile or electronic device, exclusive of the body or housing shássy
château (singular), châteaux (plural)—a feudal castle or fortress in France; a large country house or mansion; a French vineyard estate shátto, sháttôz
chateaubrianda large tenderloin steak usually grilled or broiled and served with a sauce, as béarnaise shatôbriand
chatelaina castellan shátelán
chatelainethe wife of a castellan; the mistress of a château; the mistress of a household or of a large establishment; a clasp or hook for a watch, purse, or bunch of keys shátelain, shátelén
chaud-froid shô-fwà
chauffeur a person employed to drive a motor vehicle shô-fër
chefa skilled cook who manages the kitchen, as of a restaurant; a cook shéf
chef d'oeuvrea masterpiece, especially in art or literature shây-dëvr
chemin de fera card game in which two hands are dealt, any number of players may bet against the dealer, and the winning hand is the one that comes closer to but does not exceed a count of nine on two or three cards shəmánda-fãir
chemisea woman's one-piece undergarment; a loose, straight-hanging dress shəmêez
chemisette a woman's garment, especially one as of lace to fill the open front of a dress shəmeezét
chenillea wool, cotton, silk, or rayon yarn with protruding pile; a pile-face fabric with a filling of this yarn; an imitation of chenille yarn or fabric" chənêe, chənìl
chèquein BrE, a written order to a bank to pay money, AmE check = chéck investigate
cherchez la femme, chercher la femmelook for the woman shérchèla-fám
cheval-de-frise (singular), chevaux-de-frise (plural)—a defense consisting typically of a timber or an iron barrel covered with projecting spikes and often strung with barbed wire; a protecting line, as of spikes, on top of a wall—usually used in the plural shəváldə frêeze, shəvôdə frêeze
chevaliera cavalier; a member of any of various orders of knighthood or of merit, as the Legion of Honor; a member of the lowest rank of French nobility; a cadet of the French nobility; a chivalrous man shəválêeây
chevelure a head of hair shəvəlûre
chèvregoat cheese shévra
chezat or in the home or business place of = Shây
chicsmart elegance and sophistication, especially of dress or manner; style (wears her clothes with superb chic); a distinctive mode of dress or manner associated with a fashionable lifestyle, ideology, or pursuit (wearing the latest in urban chic); a faddishly popular quality or appeal; something, as a practice or interest, having such appeal (the transient tides of academic chic — Irving Kristol) shèek
chichifrilly or elaborate ornamentation; affectation , preciosity; chic shêshê
chiffonan ornamental addition, as a knot of ribbons, to a woman's dress; a sheer fabric especially of silk shíffon
chiffonadeshredded or finely cut vegetables or herbs used especially as a garnish shiffonàd
chiffoniera high narrow chest of drawers shiffónìây
chignona knot of hair that is worn at the back of the head and especially at the nape of the neck shìnyon
chinoiseriea style in art, as in decoration, reflecting Chinese qualities or motifs; an object or decoration in this style shinwazerìe
choucroutesauerkraut; sauerkraut cooked and served with meat—also called choucroute garnie = shoô away croût
chûtea quick descent, as in a river; a rapid; an inclined plane, sloping channel, or passage down or through which things may pass; a slide; a parachute; a spinnaker = shoôt shot
cigarettea slender roll of cut tobacco enclosed in paper and meant to be smoked; also, a similar roll of another substance, as marijuana cigərét
cinémaa motion picture—usually used attributively; a motion-picture theater; movies; especially, the film industry or the art or technique of making motion pictures cínemà, cínemə
cinéma véritéart or technique of filming a motion picture so as to convey candid realism cínema véritè
cinémathèquea small movie house specializing in avant-garde films cínematek
clairvoyantone who claims to see into the future clãir-vŏyant
claquea group hired to applaud at a performance; a group of sycophants cláck
claqueura member of a claque clackër
clichéa trite phrase or expression; also, the idea expressed by it; a hackneyed theme, characterization, or situation; something, as a menu item, that has become overly familiar or commonplace clêeshây (AmE stresses 2nd syllable)
clientèlea body of clients (a shop that caters to an exclusive clientele) cleeontél
cliquea narrow, exclusive circle or group of persons; especially one held together by common interests, views, or purposes clêek
clochea transparent plant cover used outdoors especially for protection against cold; a woman's close-fitting hat usually with deep rounded crown and narrow brim clósh
cloisonnéof, relating to, or being a style of enamel decoration in which the enamel is applied and fired in raised cells (as of soldered wires) on a usually metal background cloizənây
cocottea prostitute; a shallow individual baking dish usually with one or two handles cocót
collagean artistic composition made of various materials (as paper, cloth, or wood) glued on a surface; a creative work that resembles such a composition in incorporating various materials or elements <the album is a collage of several musical styles>; the art of making collages; a hodgepodge <a collage of ideas>; a work (as a film) having disparate scenes in rapid succession without transitions cóllàzh (cf. anglicised cóllege *cóllij)
colporteura peddler of religious books cólporter
comédiennea woman who is a comedian comediénne
comme ci, comme çaso-so comsêe-comsà
comme il fautconforming to accepted standards; proper comêel-fô
commodea woman's ornate cap popular in the late 17th and early 18th centuries; a low chest of drawers; a movable washstand with a cupboard underneath; a boxlike structure holding a chamber pot under an open seat; also chamber pot; toilet commôde
communethe smallest administrative district of many countries, especially in Europe; commonalty; community, as a medieval usually municipal corporation; mir; an often rural community organized on a communal basis cómmune
communiquéofficial communication or report commûnikay
compèrechiefly British: the master of ceremonies of an entertainment (as a television program) cómpére host, cf. compãre contrast
compote compóte
concierge cóncìërzh
confit cónfì
confrère cónfrére
concours d'élégance concordéle-gànce
conduit cóndwít
consommé consómmè
contretemps cóntratóm
coq au vin cóck ôh ván
coquette cô-két
cordon sanitaire cŏrdon sanitãire
corniche cor-nêesh
cornichon cornishón
corps army = cŏre apple
corps de ballet cŏrda-bálay
corps d'élite cŏrdây-lêet
corsage corsàzh
corsetière corsetiére
cortègea funeral procession cortézh
coryphé(e) coryfây
Côte d'Ivoirecountry formerly known as Ivory Coast Côat divwàr
coteriean intimate and often exclusive group of persons with a unifying common interest or purpose côterie
coulis, coulisse coulìsse
coup d'état coôdây-tà
coup de grâce coôdəgràss
coup de théâtre[13] coôdətay-átrə
coupé coûpè
courgette[14] cŏr-zhét
couscousière cusscussiér
couture coutûre
cortège cŏr-tézh
crayon crâyón
crèche crésh
crème créme
crème anglaise cremongléz
crème brulé crembrulây
crème caramel cremcaramél
crème de cacao cremdəcacòw
crème de cassis cremdəcassìs
crème de la crème cremdəlacrém
crème de menthe cremdmónt
crème fraîche, crème fraiche cremfrâysh, cremfrésh
crèpe crèpe
crepe de chine crèpe de shêen
crèpe suzette crèpe suzét
crepon crépon
crevasse crəváss
cri de coeur crìdə-kër
crime passionnelcrime of passion crêam pasionél
critique critêek, cf. crític
crochet crôshây
croissant quàson
Cro-Magnon Cro-Mágnon, Cro-Mányon
crôquet crôcây
croquette crockét
croquignole cróckêen-yôle
croquis cróck-êe
croupier croôpêeây
croustade crùs-tàd
crouton croôton
crudités cruditây
cuirassier quêer-ássiây
cuisine quêe-zêen
cul-de-sac cúll de sáck
culotte culót
curé cyûrây
curetage cyùretàzh
curette, curet cyurét
cuvéecûvay
dauphinthe eldest son of the king of France dô-fán
dauphinethe wife of a dauphin dô-fêen
débâcle debàcle
débris BrE débrêe or dèbrêe, AmE dəbrêe
début dèbyû or débyû
débutant male dèbyûtàn or débyûtàn
débutante female dèbyûtànt or débyûtànt
déclassé declássè
décolletage noun, décolleté male, décolletée female daycoletàzh, daycoletây
décor dâycor
dégringolade dây-gráng-go-làd
degustationa tasting of foods or wines in a series of small portions dây-gù-stá-ssión
de haut en bas də-ôwàn-bà
déjà vu dâyzhà-vû
deluxe, de luxe də-lúxe, də-lûxe
demi-glace démi-gláce
demimondaine démimon-dâne
demimonde démimonde
demi-sec démi-séc
demoiselle dəmwazél
dénouement dây-noûmon
dépôt BrE déppo, AmE dêpo
derailleur dayrî-yër
déraciné, déracinée dayrácinay
de règle də-réglə
de rigueur dərigër - hard g
dernier cri dãirny-ãir-crêe
derrière Dérry ãir
détente daytànt
de trop dətrô
digestif deezhestêef
discothèque díscoték
divorcé man, divorcée woman; divorcee eitherdivorced person divorsây; divorcêe
donnée, donnéa given, basic fact or assumption, subject or theme of story, etc dónnây
double entendre[15]a word or expression capable of two interpretations, with one usually being risqué doôblon-tóndrə
douche doôsh
doyen man, doyenne woman doyén (man can be dǒyen)
droit dwà
droit du seigneur dwàdusen-yer
du jour [16] dû-zhûr
duvet dûvay
eau de Cologne ôdaco-lône
eau de parfum ôdapar-füm
eau de toilette ôda-twà-lét
eau-de-vie ôda-vêe
échelonéshelón, échelón
éclair eclãir
éclaircissement eclaircìsmàn
éclat è-clà
élan è-làn
embonpointplumpness (of person) ómbonpwàn
embouchure emboû-shûre or óm-
embourgeoisement ombŏurzhwazmón
émigré émigrè
éminence grise éminonce-grêez
en attendant ón ətóndón
en banc ón bónk
en bloc, bloc ón blóck, blóc
en brochette ón broshét
enceinte ón sánt
en clair ón Clãir
encore óncore
en face ón fáss
en famille ón famì
enfant terrible ón fànté-rìbl
en fête ón fét
engagé ón gázhây
en masse ón máss
en passantin passing: in chess, of a pawn taking a pawn that has reached the same rank as one's own only by virtue of the fact that on its first move a pawn has the option of moving two squares ón pásson
en plein ón plán
en poste ón póst
en prisein a position to be captured (in chess, etc.) ón prêez
en rapport ón rá-pŏr
en route ón roûte
ensemble ón sómbl
ensilage ón silàzh
en suite ón swêet
entente ón tónt
entente cordiale óntónt cordiàl
entourage ónturàzh
entrechat óntrəshà
entrecôte óntrecote
entrée ón trây
entremets óntrəmây
entrepôt óntrəpô
entrepreneur óntrəprənër
entresol óntrəsól
equipage ekípàzh
escarole éscarôle
espionage espìonàzh
esprit de corps espreedəcŏr
estaminet éstáminay
etiquette étikét
étouffée ây-toûfay
étude âytûde
etui ây-twì
euclase ëugh-clàz
exposé expôzây, cf. expôse
façade fəssàd
fait accompli fétəcóm-plêe
farouche fəroûsh
fatigue fətêeg
faute de mieux fôte de-myə
fauteuil foe toô ê
fauve fôv
faut-naïf fôe nîgh êef
faux pas fô-pâ
femme fatalewoman with whom it may be dangerous to have a liaison fám-fatàl
fête festival = fâte destiny
fiancé man, fiancée woman fì-ànsây
figurine figurìne
filet= fíllet; or fêelây
filet mignon or mignon fêelây-mêenyón
fils fêece
fin de siècle"end of the century", in particular the 'naughty nineties' of the nineteenth fándəsì-éclə
finesse finésse
flânerie flánə-rìe
flâneur flanëur
flèche arrow flésh meat
fléchette flésh-ét
foie gras fwà-grà
folie à deux folìà-dë
fondant fóndàn
forté fŏrtè
foyerentrance hall in hotel, theatre or cinema fŏyèh
franc = Frank person
franc-tireur fràncti-rer
frisée, frisé frìzây
frisson frìsson
froideur fwàh-dër
frottage frótàzh
frou-frou froû-frou
fuselage fûsilàzh
fusil fûzil
fusilier, fusileer fusilêer
fusillade fuzilàd
gaffe mistake = gáff blow, fishing
galantine galantìne
galère galére
galette galét
galop= gállop horse
garage AmE gəràzh, gəràj, BrE gáràj, gáràzh or the despised gáríj
garçon gàr-són
garde-manger gàrdmàn-zhây
gastronome gástronôme
gâteau, gâteaux gáttô, gáttôz
gauche gôsh
gaucherie gôshery
gavotte gavótte
genre zhónrə
gigot zhêego
glacé glássây
gouache gouásh
grandeurgreat power, rank or eminence; nobility, splendour grándure
grand malthe worst kind of epilepsy grà-mál
Grand Prixinternational motor-racing championship Gràm Prêe
grande damedignified lady gràn-dám
grangea country house with farm buildings attached grânge
gratina brown crust formed on cooked food, or the crusted food itself gratán
gratiné or gratinéeto cook au gratin; a dish cooked in that manner gratinây
grillage grêeàzh
grille lattice = gríll cook
grotesque grotésk
grotesquerie grotéskery
gruyère gruyére
guillotine gilətêen
hautbois ôboy
habitué habítyoo-ây
haute, also haut = ôat meal, ôh surprise
haute couture ôat-coô-tûre
haute cuisine ôat-kwì-zêen
haute école otay-cól
hauteur otër
haut monde, also haute monde ôh-mónd, ôat-mónd
honi soit qui mal y pense ónny-swà-kêe-málly-pànss
hors commerce orcommérce
hors de combat ordəcom-bà
hors d'œuvre ŏr-dëvr
hotelier hotélier
idée fixe êedây fêex
impasse ímpasse, ámpasse
infusion ánfûzi-ón
ingénue ánzhé-nû
insouciance ánsoossi-àhnss
insouciant ánsoossi-àhn
-iqueforming nouns êek
jabot zhàbo
j'ádoube"I adjust", said when centring a chessman on its square zhadoûb
je ne sais quoi zhənəsâi-kwà
jeté zhətay
jeu d'esprit zhëdé-sprêe
jeunesse dorée zhənéss-dórây
joie de vivre zhwàd-vìvrə
julienne juliénne, zhulién
képi = KP kây-pêe
Khmer Rouge Kəmãir Roûzh
laïcité là-ìcì-tây
laissez-faire = lây sây fãir
largesse larzhéss
latrine latrìne
lavabo lavàbo
lavage lavàzh
lavaliere or lavalliere pendant lavalìer
lavalier or lavaliere microphone ləválier
layette layét
lèse-majesté lâys mázhestay
leveea natural or artificial slope or wall to regulate water levels lévêe
liaisonlove affair, probably temporary liâizon
lieu lyë
lieutenant AmE lieuténant, BrE lefténant
littérateur literatër
longue duréestudy of history giving priority to long-term structures lóng durây
lorgnette, lorgnon lornyét, lornyón
louche - disreputable loôsh
lunes = loôn crazy
luthiera maker of stringed instruments such as violins or guitars lûtiər
luxe lúx, lûx
macabre macàbre
macédoinemixed fruit or vegetables, especially cut up small or in jelly masidwàn
mâche màsh
machine məshêen
madame brothel, Madame title madáme, cf. mádam shopping
madeleine mádeleíne
mademoiselle madame wàzél
maisonette maizonét
maître d'hôtel métradô-tél, mâitradô-tél
mal de mer máldə-mér
malines malêen
mandoline (also 'mandolin' in English) mándə-lín
margarine marjərìne
marionette marionét
marque type = màrk write = Màrk person
marquee = màr kêy
marquis màrquís
marquise markêez
marron márron
māsque drama = māsk face
masquerade maskerâde
massage mássàzh (cf. anglicised méssage *méssij)
masseur BrE massër, AmE massûr
masseuse BrE massëz, AmE massûze
matinée mátinèe
mauve môve, cf. move, pronounced moôve
mayonnaise mayonnâise
Médecins sans Frontières Mâydsán són Frontiãir
mélange mây-lànzh
ménage à trois ménàzhà-twà
menagerie menádgery
merlon mérlon
merlot merlô
Messrs. (abbreviation of Messieurs) méssers
métier mâytiây
métis maytêess
mignonetteminyonét
milieumiliëü
minaudièreminodiér
miragean optical effect; something illusory or unobtainable míràzh
mirepoixa sautéed mixture of diced vegetables used as a base for sauces mêerpwà
moime, I (first person pronoun) mwà
MonsieurSir, Mister Məs-yər
montagemóntàzh
montagnard móntanyar
moquette mokét
moresque morésque
mot juste, le mot juste mô-zhûst, ləmô-zhûst
motif motìf repeated pattern
Moulin Rouge Moûlán Roûzh[17]
Mousquetaire Mousketãire
mousse moûsse
mousseline mousselìne
mousselìne de soie mousselìne de swà
moustache AmE mústásh, BrE mə-stàsh
moyen-âge mwayenàzh
musique concrète muzêek concrét
mystìque mistêek
naïve nî-yêeve
naïveté[18] nî-yeevì-tây
néebefore a woman's maiden name[19]
négligee, négligé néglizhây
négritudea consciousness of and pride in the cultural and physical aspects of the African heritage; the state or condition of being black
Nez Percé Naypãir sây, Néz-Pérss, Nézperz
niche nêesh
noblesse oblige nô bléss oblêezh
noir nwàr
nom de guerre nóm-de-gãir
nom de plume nóm de plûme
nougat nougat
nouveau nû-vô
nouveau riche noôvô-rêesh
nouvelle nuvél
nouvelle cuisine nuvél-quizêen
nouvelle vague nuvél-vàg
nuance nûànce
objet d'art óbzhâi-dàr
objet trouvé óbzhâi-troûvây
odalisque ôdalísk
oeil de boeuf oidə-bəf
oenophile ênofîle
œuvre ëvr
omelette ómlət/ómlit
opéra bouffeópera boûf
opéra comiqueópera comêek
oubliette oûbli-ét
outré oûtrè
paillard pîàr
paillette pà yét
pain-au-chocolat pánnoshoko-là
palette pálit
panache pənásh
papier-mâché BrE pápiay-máshay, AmE pâper-məshây
papillon pápêeon
papillote pápêeot
parachute párashoot
parfait parfây
par excellence parexelónss
parole parôle
parquet pàrkây
parterre partér
parvenu pàrvən(y)û
pas de bourrée pàdə-boùray
pas de chat pàdə-shà
pas de deux pàdə-dë
pas de quatre pàdə-kátr
pas de trois pàdə-twà
passé pássè
passe-partout pàss pâr toô
pastille pastìlle
pâté pátè
pâté de foie graspátèdəfwà-grà
Pathéthique[20] patetêek
pâtisseriepastry; a pastry shop patìsserie
patois - colloquial language pátwà, rhyming with fátwà
peignoirwoman's loose dressing gown pâynwàr
penchant AmE pénchant, BrE pànshàn
pensée - thought, witty saying pànsây
perdu or perdue perdû
père - father pére
petit pətêe
petit bourgeois pətêe-bŏrzhwa
petite - small, cute pətêet
petite bourgeoisie pətêet-bŏrzhwa zêe
petite sirah, petite syrah pətêet-sírə
petit four[21]pətêe fŏur
petit-maître pətêe-métr
petit mal pətêe-mál
petit point pətêe-pwàn
pièce de résistance pì-éss də râyzêe-stànss
pied-à-terre pyédà-téər
pince-nez pánss-nây
pinot noir pêeno-nwàr
pioletalpinist's two-headed ice-axe piolây
pipette pipét
pique = pêak mountain
piqué = PK, K stressed
piquet = PK, P stressed
pirogue pirôg
pirouette pirouét
pis aller pêace állây
pissoirmen's public urinal pêeswahr
pistesafe skiing areas pêast
plagebeach plàzh
pláteau, pláteaux (plural)— pláttô, plátôz; in both, the second syllable is stressed in AmE
plus ça changethe more it changes (the more it remains the same) ploôssà-shànzh
politessepoliteness politésse
pommée pómmây
portmanteau portmántô
poseur pô-zër
pot-pourri pôpu-rêe
pouf, pouffe, pouffet poùf, poùf, poùffay
poularde poûlarde
pour encourager les autresliterally, to encourage others; in fact, to deter others when making an example of someone poûroncoûràzhâylâyz-ôtr
pourboire porbwàr
pourparler porpàrlây
pourpoint porpwàn
pousse-café poosscaffây
poussette poôssét
précis prâysêe
première prémiãir
prestige prést-êezh
prie-dieu prêe-dyü
profiteroleeclair as a sweet profiterôle
prôgrámme (BrE; in all but computer senses) = AmE prógrám
promenade prómenàde
proneur prón-ër
protégé prôtezhây
Provençal Provonssàl
puce pûce
puisne judge = pûny small
purée pûrây
queuenoun and verb, British English for 'line' as in 'to stand in line', 'to queue up' = cûe signal, billiards
quiche kêesh
raclette rác-lét
raconteur rácon-tër
ragout ragoû
raison d’être râizon-détrə
rapport rá-pŏr
rapporteur rapportëur
rapprochement rappróchement
ratafia ratafìa
ratatouille ratatoôêe, ratatwêe
recherché rəshãirshây
reculer pour mieux sauterretreat in order to jump further rəculây pŏr myə sôtay
régie—state monopoly of tobacco, salt, etc. rây-zhêe
régimepresent system of government, etc., often derogatory, see also ancien régime rây-zhêem
rendezvous róndâyvoô, róndivoô
renifleur rəníflër, rənì-flër, réniflër
renaissance renâisàhnss
rentier ràntêeây
repertoire répertwàr
reservoirlake, usually artificial, for preservation of water réservwar
restaurant réstərànt
restaurateur restratëur
résumé [22] rézyumây, râyzyumây, cf. resûme (rizyûme)
retroussé retroûsay
revanche revànsh
ricochet BrE ríkəshay, AmE rikəshây
riposte ripóste
risqué rískây, rêeskây
rôle part = rôll over, eat
rondure rondûre
roquefort BrE róck fŏr, AmE rôkefərt, rôkefŏrt
rosé wine rôzay
rosette rozét
rotisserie rotíssery
roué roôwây
rougered powder for facial colouring roûzh
roulette roulét
route BrE = roôt, AmE = ròut
roux roû
sabotage sábotàzh
salon sálon
sang-froid song-fwà
sans sáns
sans culotte sàncû-lót
sardine sardìne
sauté sôtây
sauterne, sauternes plural sô-térn
sauvignon blanc sôvêenyàn-blàn
savant(e)—learned person sávant
savate savàte
savoir-faire sávwà-fãir
savoir-vivre sávwà-vìvrə
séance sâyónce
sec séc
secateur secatërr
serviette serviét
silhouette siluwét
sobriquet sóbrikây
soi-disant swà-dêezon
soigné, soignée swàn-yây
soirée swàray
soixante-neuf swàsont-nëf
solfège solfézh
solitaire solitãire
son et lumière sonaylumiére
sorbet sŏrbay
sortie sŏrtie
sou coin = sûe legal, Sûe Susan
soubise soû bêes
soubrette soûbrét
soufflé soûflây
soupçon soûpsón
sous vide, sous-vide soô-vêed
souvenir souvenìr
steak tartare, steack tartare steâk tartàre
suede (from 'Suède', Sweden)—fabric = swâyed sway
suite = swêet sour
suture sûture
table d’hôte tàbla-dôte
tábleau, tábleaux plural táblô, táblôz
tartar(e) (sauce) tartàr
tarte tatin tàrt tà-tán
terrine terrìne
tête-à-tête tétà-tét
-tionforming nouns shən
toque, toque blanche tóc, tóc blànsh
torque tŏrk
torsades de pointesa medical condition involving rapid heartbeat torsád-də-pwànt
touché tooshây
toupée toô-pây
tour de force toûr de fŏrce
Tour de France Toûr de Frànce
tourniquet BrE toûrnikây, AmE türnikit
trâit characteristic = trây carry
travail travâil
triage trîage
triste trêest
trompe l'œil trómp-lŏy
troûsseau trûsô (either stressed)
trouvaille trouvaî
trouvère trouvére
unique yunêek
urine yùrín
valise vəlêez
vase BrE vàz, AmE vâce, vâze
velocipede velócipede
vermouth BrE vërməth, AmE vr-moôth
venue vényû
vichyssoise vishyswàz
vigneron vìnyeron
vignette veenyét
vinaigrettesmall ornamental bottle for holding aromatic salts; vinaigrette sauce: salad dressing of oil and wine-vinegar vinaigrét
vingt-et-uncard game, also known as blackjack or pontoon vántayán
vis-à-viswith regard to víza-vêe, vêezà-vêe
vitrineglass-panelled cabinet vitrìne
vive...[23]long live... vêev
voilàthere you are, here it is, etc. vwà-là
vol-au-vent vóllow-vón
volte-faceabout-face: a reversal in policy = vôlt electric fáss
voyageur vŏyázh-ër, vwŷázh-ër
voyeur vŏy-ër, vwŷ-ër

Notes

  1. Ideally, final -n nasalises the preceding vowel, but some just pronounce the n.
  2. An English variant is absinth.
  3. "Amuse-bouche" is more commonly used in English-language restaurants than in France, where "amuse-gueule" is frequently used.
  4. Arbitrageur (arbitrazhër) does not exist in French.
  5. British English; egg plant in American.
  6. The spelling beaus is not correct in French but is frequent in English.
  7. In French, the singular and plural are pronounced the same (bô).
  8. Correct French for this would be bel idéal; the phrase "Beau Ideal" was popularized in English after being the title of a 1931 film, itself the sequel to another popular film called "Beau Geste"
  9. "Boule" derived from the French should not be confused with the very different "boule" derived from the Greek, defined as "a legislative council of ancient Greece consisting first of an aristocratic advisory body and later of a representative senate"
  10. Carousel, with a single r, is more frequent in English.
  11. Also BrE champâign with the meaning "open country".
  12. Generally spelled chassis.
  13. 'Theatre' outside this phrase has no accents and is pronounced thêeətər.
  14. British English; zucchini in American.
  15. Correct French for this is sous-entendre, an "under-understanding" rather than "double understanding"
  16. Used only in expressions with a preceding noun: soupe du jour, buzzword du jour, starlet du jour, etc.
  17. Though some Americans incorrectly say Moulàn/Moulón.
  18. There is also the anglicisation naìvity, nà-ìvity.
  19. There is also a masculine form .
  20. Used as a title for musical works including, most famously, Tchaikovsky's sixth symphony and Beethoven's eighth piano sonata, retaining the original meaning of pathos, in contrast to 'pathetic'.
  21. Does not exist in French; they are called 'mignardises'.
  22. The second accent (not usually both) is often used to avoid confusion with resûme.
  23. Used only in expressions with a following noun: vive le roi, vive la France, vive la différence, etc.
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