Association of British Scrabble Players

Language > Dan - Hind > French

Now updated for CSW19. New words, if any, and new inflections of existing words, are shown in red.

abatis abattis a means of defense formed by felled trees, the ends of whose branches are sharpened and directed outwards, or against the enemy.
abattoir a slaughterhouse.
abattu cast down, dejected.
abature a trail through a wood beaten down by a stag.
abbe the French word answering to the English abbot, the head of an abbey; but commonly a title of respect given in France to every one vested with the ecclesiastical habit or dress.
abbreviature an abridgement; an abbreviated state or form.
aboideau aboiteau a tide gate > ABOIDEAUS or ABOIDEAUX.
abonnement a subscription, as for a season ticket or newspaper.
abrege an abridgment.
abri a bomb shelter.
absinth absinthe the wormwood plant or other species of Artemisia; a liqueur made from this.
accable depressed, overwhelmed. The e has an acute accent.
accolade an embrace; the action used in conferring knighthood.
accouchement childbirth; a confinement.
accoucheur a male midwife. Cf. ACCOUCHEUSE.
accoucheuse a female midwife. Cf. ACCOUCHEUR.
accoutrement an accessory item of clothing or equipment – usually used in the plural.
acharne furious, desperate (esp. of battles). The e has an acute accent.
acierage the covering of a metal plate with a film of iron.
acquis a particular piece or section of European Union legislation.
actualite the real state of affairs. The e has an acute accent.
adieu a farewell > ADIEUS or ADIEUX.
adjutage ajutage a tube added to or inserted into an aperture to control the outflow of water, as a pipe at the mouth of an artificial fountain.
affaire liaison, intrigue.
affiche a poster; a placard.
agacant provoking, alluring.
agacante (feminine of AGACANT) provoking, alluring.
agacerie an allurement, coquetry.
agiotage speculative dealing on the stock exchange.
agrafe agraffe a hooked clasp used by masons to hold blocks together.
agregation the examination for post of AGREGE, a French student who has passed a teaching examination.
agrege a French student who has passed a teaching examination.
agremens courtesies, blandishments. N.B. there is no singular AGREMEN*.
agrement the approval by a state of a diplomatic representative sent to it.
aide a confidential assistant to a person of senior rank.
aigret aigrette a spray of jewels; ornamental feather plume; an egret.
aiguille a needle-like peak of rock.
aiguillette the metal tag of a lace or string. Also AGLET, AIGLET.
aileron a hinged flap on the trailing edge of an airplane wing that moves up or down for purposes of lateral balance.
ailette a plate of armour worn on the shoulder.
aine elder, senior.
ainee (feminine form of) elder, senior.
aioli a garlic-flavoured mayonnaise. [Fr., f. Prov. ai garlic + oli oil.]
alamode a soft, light silk, used in 19th century for shawls, dresses, etc. [Fr. a la mode, according to the fashion].
alamort half-dead; dejected.
alcool a form of pure grain spirit distilled in Quebec.
alencon a needlepoint lace. [From Alencon, a town in NW France].
alerion allerion an eagle displayed without feet or beak.
alexandrine a French verse form.
allee an avenue, walk or garden path.
allemande a courtly baroque dance in which the arms are interlaced.
allonge a paper attached to a commercial bill requiring signatures.
allons let's go.
almandine almandite a deep red garnet consisting of an iron aluminum silicate.
alternat the diplomatic practice of determining precedence between powers of equal rank by lot.
altesse highness.
amadou a kind of fungus used as tinder.
amandine albumin in sweet almonds; a cold cream composed of that substance.
amarelle a kind of sour cherry.
ambage a winding; a roundabout way; delay.
ambitty of glass, devitrified.
ambuscade an ambush.
ame a soul.
amenage (Obs.) to manage, control.
amende a fine or reparation paid.
ami a (male) friend.
amie a (female) friend.
amorce a percussion cap for a toy pistol. [Fr. amorce, priming].
amort spiritless, dejected.
amour love. Amour propre: self-respect.
amourette a brief or unimportant love affair.
ampere a unit of electrical current. [From French physicist, A.M. Ampere].
amusette a light field cannon, or stocked gun mounted on a swivel.
anana ananas the pineapple plant.
andouille a kind of sausage.
andouillette a kind of pork sausage.
anisette a cordial or liqueur flavoured with anise seeds.
anomie a state of society in which normative standards of conduct and belief are weak or lacking.
apache a member of the French underworld.
apercu a brief outline; a glimpse; an intuitive insight.
aperitif a drink taken as an appetiser.
apostil apostille a marginal note. [Fr. apostille].
appartement a set of rooms in a house for an individual or a family.
appel in fencing, a stamp of the foot in a false attack, in order to create an opening for a hit.
applique a work applied to, or laid on, another material, either of metalwork or lace etc.
apport in psychical research, the supposed transport of material objects without material agency.
appui appuy support; (verb) to support militarily.
apres after.
apropos to the purpose; in reference to.
aquarelle a method of painting in transparent water-color; such painting.
arbitrageur one who makes profit by dealing on the stock exchange.
arete a narrow, saw-toothed mountain ridge developed by glacier erosion in adjacent cirques.
argand a gas or oil lamp. [From A. Argand (1755—1803), French physicist].
argot an often more or less secret vocabulary and idiom peculiar to a particular group.
arkose a sedimentary rock formed by the cementation of sand-sized grains of feldspar and quartz.
armagnac a kind of brandy distilled in SW France.
armet a kind of light helmet, replacing the BASSINET.
armoire a large decorative wardrobe or chest.
armure a type of fabric with a pebbled surface.
arpen arpent an old French land measure, slightly smaller than an acre.
arquebusade a lotion for shot-wounds.
arret a decision; the judgment of a tribunal.
arriere in the rear, backward.
arrondissement the largest subdivision of a French department.
artiste a performing artist; a professional singer, dancer, actor, etc.
ascendeur a metal grip that is threaded on a rope as a climbing aid.
aspersoir an ASPERGILL, a brush-like implement used to sprinkle holy water.
assemblage the collection of minerals that characterize a rock or a facies.
assez as part of a musical direction, fairly.
assignat one of the notes, bills, or bonds, issued as currency by the revolutionary government of France (1790-1796), and based on the security of the lands of the church and of nobles which had been appropriated by the state.
atelier an artist's studio or workshop.
attache a junior member of an ambassador's staff.
attentat something wrongfully done by a judge in a proceeding, pending an appeal.
aubade a song or poem greeting the dawn or about lovers parting at dawn.
auberge an inn.
aubergine an eggplant.
aubergiste an innkeeper.
august auguste a circus clown of the white-faced, bungling type.
aune an ell; a French measure of cloth.
auteur a film director, especially when thought of as the creator of a particular genre and carrying a personal stamp.
autocade a motorcade.
autoclave a kind of French stewpan with a steam-tight lid.
autocritique self-criticism, esp. political.
avenir the future.
aviette an aeroplane driven by manpower, a kind of glider.
avion an aeroplane.
avodire an African tree. The e has an accent.
avoirdupois a system of weights in which the pound (lb.) has 16 ounces.
avoyer a chief magistrate of a free imperial city or canton of Switzerland.
babiche a thong or lace made of rawhide.
baccara baccarat a French card game.
badinage a playful repartee; banter; (verb) to banter.
badinerie a name given in the 18th century to a type of quick, light movement in a suite.
bagarre a scuffle or brawl.
bagass bagasse dry residue, especially of sugar cane and beet after extraction of juice, and plants after removal of fibre.
bagatelle a trifle, a thing of no value or importance; a negligible amount.
bagnette a long French loaf. Also BAGUET, BAGUETTE.
baguet baguette a long French loaf.
bahut an ornamental, usu. round-topped chest or cabinet.
baignoire a theatre box on a level with the stalls.
bailli a magistrate.
bailliage jurisdiction.
baisemain a kiss on the hand.
baladin balladin a (male) theatrical dancer.
baladine balladine a (female) theatrical dancer.
ballade a poetic form, originally for singing.
ballon in dancing, a bounciness of step.
ballonne a ballet jump.
balzarine a light cotton dress material.
banc the judge's bench.
bandeau a narrow band or fillet; a part of a head-dress > BANDEAUS or BANDEAUX.
bandelet a small flat moulding around a column.
banderol banderole a small banner or streamer. Also BANDROL, BANNEROL, BANNERALL.
bandoline a glutinous pomatum for the hair.
banlieue the territory outside the walls, but within the legal limits, of a town or city.
banquette a raised way or footway above a parapet.
baracan barracan a thick, strong stuff, somewhat like CAMLET; -- still used for outer garments in the Levant.
barachois a shallow lagoon formed by a sandbar > BARACHOIS.
baragouin any jargon or unintelligible language.
barbastel barbastelle a long-eared species of bat with hairy lips.
barbe a piece of vertically pleated linen cloth worn over or under the chin, as by nuns.
barbet a variety of small dog, having long curly hair; a tropical bird.
barbette an earthen terrace inside the parapet of a rampart.
barbotine a paste of clay used in decorating coarse pottery in relief.
barcarole a gondolier's song.
barege a gauzelike fabric for ladies' dresses, veils, etc. of worsted, silk and worsted, or cotton and worsted. [From Barèges in Hautes-Pyrénées].].
baregine a gelatinous mass of bacteria and sulphur found in mineral waters. [From Barèges in Hautes-Pyrénées].
baronne a baroness.
baroque a bold, vigorous, exuberant artistic style. Also BAROCK, BAROCCO.
barquette a small barque.
barre a horizontal rail used by dancers.
barret a kind of cap formerly worn by soldiers. Also, the flat cap worn by Roman Catholic ecclesiastics.
barrette a bar-shaped hair-clip or hair ornament.
barricade a temporary defensive barrier; (verb) to block, to enclose with a barricade.
barrulet a narrow heraldic bar, one quarter the width of a bar.
bascule an apparatus of which one end rises as the other sinks.
basoche a mediaeval guild of clerks of the parliament of Paris, performers of mystery plays.
basque a short-skirted jacket, or a continuation of a bodice a little below the waist.
basquine an outer petticoat worn by Basque and Spanish women.
bassinet basinet basnet a light, conical helmet.
bastide a French country-house.
bastille a prison; (caps.) the French prison-cum-fortress stormed by the mob in the French Revolution.
bastinade to beat with a stick or baton, especially on the feet.
bateau batteau a boat; esp. a flat-bottomed, clumsy boat used on the Canadian lakes and rivers > BATEAUX, BATTEAUX.
bateleur a kind of eagle.
battement a movement in ballet , in which one leg is extended to the rear, side and front.
batterie a ballet movement.
battu pertaining to a type of ballet movement.
battue indiscriminate slaughter; the driving of game towards slaughter.
bavardage small talk or chitchat; idle chatter.
bayadeer bayadere a fabric with horizontal stripes in strongly contrasting colours.
bearnaise a rich white sauce flavoured with tarragon.
beau a man who takes great care to dress in the latest fashion; a dandy > BEAUS or BEAUX.
beaucoup many or much, used as slang.
becasse a woodcock.
bechamel a rich, white sauce, prepared with butter and cream.
becquerel the SI unit of radioactivity. [From A. H. Becquerel (1852—1908), French physicist, discoverer of radioactivity].
bedeguar a soft spongy gall formed on the branches of sweet-brier and other roses.
beghard beguin in Flanders, a man living a monastic life without vows and with power to return to the world, aka BEGHARD.
beguinage a collection of small houses surrounded by a wall and occupied by a community of Beguines.
beguine biguine a kind of dance.
beige a woollen fabric of undyed wool.
beignet a fritter, a deep-fried ball of choux pastry.
belle a young lady of superior beauty and attractions; a handsome lady, or one who attracts notice in society; a fair lady.
benitier a holy-water stoup.
berbere a hot-tasting Ethiopian paste made from garlic, cayenne pepper etc and often used in stews.
berceau a cradle, a covered walk > BERCEAUX.
berceuse a lullaby.
berdache berdash an American Indian transvestite, adopting, dress, status and role of the opposite sex. [Fr. bardache, male homosexual].
bergamot a tree of the Orange family, having a roundish or pear-shaped fruit, from the rind of which an essential oil of delicious odour is extracted, much prized as a perfume. Also, the fruit.
bergere a type of easy chair or sofa with cane back and arms.
bertillonage a system of criminal identification by detailed measurements, worked out by Alphonse Bertillon (1853-1914), a Paris police officer.
besoin need, want, desire.
betise stupidity, a stupid act.
beton the French name for concrete; hence, concrete made after the French fashion.
beurre a kind of pear, one with the meat soft and melting.
bevue a blunder, an inadvertent error.
bezique a card game played with two decks of cards.
bibelot a small household ornament or decorative object, a knickknack. Can also refer specifically to a miniature book of elegant design (Tiffany and Faberge made them).
bidet a shallow oval basin used for washing esp. the genital and anal regions.
bidon a container for liquids.
bidonville a shanty town with dwellings made from oil-drums.
bigarade a bitter Seville orange.
bijou a trinket; a jewel; -- a word applied to anything small and of elegant workmanship > BIJOUS or BIJOUX.
bijouterie jewellery, esp. trinkets.
billon base metal, an alloy of copper, tin or silver.
binocle a dioptric telescope, fitted with two tubes joining, so as to enable a person to view an object with both eyes at once; a double-barrelled field glass or an opera glass.
bis twice.
bise bize a cold dry northerly wind, mainly prevalent in spring, that occurs in and near Switzerland.
bisque a point allowed to a tennis player; a stroke(s) allowed to golfer; an extra turn allowed to croquet player; a kind of rich thick soup; pottery fired but not glazed.
bivouac (verb) to remain in the open air (esp. during the night) without tents etc.
bizarrerie something bizarre.
blague humbug; pretentious nonsense.
blagueur one who talks BLAGUE, talks humbug.
blanchisseuse a laundress.
blancmange an opaque jelly made with isinglass or gelatin and milk or (now usu.) cornflour and milk, often flavoured and sweetened.
blanquet a kind of pear.
blanquette a stew based on lamb, chicken and veal.
blase having the sensibilities deadened by excess or frequency of enjoyment; sated or surfeited with pleasure; used up.
bleuatre bluish.
bloc a combination of States, parties, groups, or people, formed to promote a particular interest.
blouson a loose outer garment gathered into a waistband.
bluet any of various blue-flowered plants; esp. the cornflower.
bluette a spark, a flash; a short playful piece of music.
bocage a decorative representation of trees, leaves, etc.
boeuf as in boeuf bourguignon, a casserole of beef, herbs etc cooked in red wine.
boiserie wood panelling on a wall.
boite a night-club.
bombardier in the British army, a non-commissioned officer in the artillery.
bombasine bombazine a twilled silk and worsted fabric.
bombe a dessert, usu. ice-cream in a melon shape.
bon good.
bonbon a sweet.
bonbonniere a fancy box for holding sweets.
bongrace a projecting bonnet or shade to protect the complexion; also, a wide-brimmed hat.
bonhomie bonhommie good nature; pleasant and easy manner.
boniface the proprietor of a hotel, nightclub or restaurant: innkeeper.
bonjour good day.
bonne a French maid or nursemaid.
bonsoir good evening.
bordeaux a red or white wine.
bordereau a detailed bill or invoice > BORDEREAUX.
bottine a small boot; a surgical boot for correcting deformity.
bouche the staff of cooks in a large house.
bouchee a small patty.
boucle a kind of rough-textured yarn or cloth.
bouclee a support for a cue in billiards.
bouderie a pouting, sulking.
boudin a black pudding.
boudoir a lady's private room.
bouffant a kind of hairdo.
bouffe a comic opera.
bougie a wax candle; a flexible medical instrument for insertion into body passages.
bouillabaisse a kind of fish soup.
bouilli boiled meat.
bouillon a nutritious liquid food made by boiling beef, or other meat, in water; a clear soup or broth.
bouillotte a card game resembling poker.
boulevard a broad street (esp. in France) with rows of trees planted along it.
boulevardier a person who frequents (French) boulevards.
bouleversement an overturning; reversal; ruin.
boulle a form of marquetry with e.g. gold and silver inlaid in tortoiseshell, same as BUHL. [From Charles Andre Boulle].
bouquet a bunch of flowers.
bouquetiere a flower-girl.
bourasque a tempest.
bourdon the drone bass of a bagpipe or organ.
bourg a town beside a castle, a market-town.
bourgeois a member of the BOURGEOISIE, the middle classes
bourgeoise a female BOURGEOIS.
bourgeoisie the middle classes.
bourguignon of meat dishes, stewed with onions, mushrooms and Burgundy wine. [Fr. 'from Burgundy'].
bourree an old French dance tune in common time.
bourride a fish dish from Provence.
bourse a commercial exchange, specif: a European stock exchange.
boursier a foundation-scholar; a speculator on the Stock Exchange.
boursin a type of cheese.
boutade a sudden outburst or outbreak.
boutique a shop, or department in a store, selling (esp. fashionable) clothes or accessories.
bouton an enlargement of the end of a nerve-fibre.
boutonne reserved, reticent.
boutonniere a buttonhole.
bouvier a kind of large dog.
boyau a communication trench > BOYAUX. [Fr. boyau, bowel].
bradoon bridoon a light military bridle.
brancard a horse-litter.
brandade a Provencal dish made with salt fish, olive oil, garlic and cream.
branle bransle brantle an old French dance or dance-tune.
brassage a mint-charge to cover the cost of coining money.
brasserie a restaurant serving alcoholic beverages, especially beer, as well as food.
brassiere a woman's undergarment worn to support the breasts.
breloque an ornament attached to a watch.
breton a kind of hat with a rounded crown and turned up brim.
brevete patented
briard a kind of rugged French dog.
bricabrac old curiosities, knick-knacks.
bricolage a construction using whatever comes to hand.
bricole a shot in billiards, involving a rebound; a mediaeval military catapult.
brigue to intrigue.
brioche a kind of soft roll, made with eggs, butter, flour and yeast.
briolette a pear-shaped gem.
briquet briquette a brick-shaped block made of compressed coal-dust.
brisance the shattering or crushing effect of an explosion.
brisant explosive, shattering.
brise a movement in dancing.
brisure a part of a parapet breaking from the general direction.
brocade a rich silk fabric with raised patterns; (verb) to weave with a raised design.
brocard an elementary legal principle or maxim. [Fr., or med.L brocardus, appellative use of the Latinized form of Burchart, 11th-cent. bishop of Worms and compiler of volumes of ecclesiastical rules.]
brocatel brocatelle a kind of coarse brocade, or figured fabric, used chiefly for tapestry, linings for carriages, etc.
broche woven with a figure; as, broche goods; (noun) such a fabric.
brochette a skewer for holding food steady while cooking.
brodekin brodkin a BUSKIN or half-boot.
brouhaha bruhaha a fuss, clamour.
bruit something rumoured widely; (verb) to report or spread rumour.
brule in cooking, lightly burnt.
brulot a biting fly.
brunet brunette brown-haired.
brusquerie a demonstration of BRUSQUENESS.
brut of wines, unsweetened, dry.
bureau a writing-desk with drawers for papers etc > BUREAUS or BUREAUX.
buret burette an apparatus for delivering measured quantities of liquid or for measuring the quantity of liquid or gas received or discharged.
burganet burgonet a visored helmet that can be fitted or attached to the gorget or neck-piece. Also, a pikeman's light steel cap.
burlesque burlesk a ludicrous imitation.
bustier a strapless long-line brassiere.
butte a narrow flat-topped hill of resistant rock with very steep sides.
buvette a small refreshment bar at the roadside.
caba cabas a woman's work-basket.
cabernet a type of black grape used to produce a dry red wine.
cabochon a precious stone polished but uncut, or cut rounded on the top but flat on the back.
cabotage shipping and sailing between points in the same country.
cabre rearing up. (The e has an accent).
cabriole a curved furniture leg ending in a ball; an exuberant dance or caper.
cabriolet a kind of two-wheeled carriage.
cachalot cacholot a sperm whale.
cachepot an ornamental container used to conceal a flowerpot.
cachet a seal of approval; a mark of prestige; (verb) to print a design on an envelope.
cacholong an opaque or milk-white chalcedony, a variety of quartz; also, a similar variety of opal. [Fr. f. Mongolian kas chilagun precious stone].
cacolet a military mule litter.
cadeau a present.
cadelle a small black beetle. [Fr., from L. catellus, little dog].
cadrans an instrument by which a gem is adjusted while being cut > CADRANSES.
cadre a permanent establishment of trained personnel forming a nucleus for expansion at need.
cafard severe depression or apathy; also, idiomatically, the blues.
cafetiere a type of coffee-maker.
cagot one of an outcast class found in the Pyrenees, supposed to be the descendants of lepers.
cagoul cagoule a lightweight, weatherproof anorak. Also KAGOOL, KAGOUL, KAGOULE.
cahier a number of sheets of paper put loosely together; esp. one of the successive portions of a work printed in numbers.
caille in cooking, a quail.
caique a light skiff used on the Bosphorus.
cajun a descendant of the French-speaking Acadians deported to Louisiana in 1755.
calash caleche calesa a light low-wheeled carriage with folding top.
calembour a pun.
calenture sunstroke, or other fever or delirium due to heat.
calotte a Roman Catholic skullcap.
caloyer a monk of the Greek Church; a cenobite, anchoret, or recluse of the rule of St. Basil, especially, one on or near Mt. Athos.
calvados a French apple brandy.
camaieu a cameo > CAMAIEUX.
camaraderie friendship.
camion a flat, low, four-wheeled truck or dray.
camisole a loose underbodice with thin shoulder straps instead of sleeves.
camouflet a mine used to destroy underground enemy emplacement. [Fr. camouflet, a whiff of smoke intentionally blown in the face, an affront].
camoufleur a person or animal skilled in the art of camouflage.
canaille riffraff; the mob; rabble.
canape a small savoury biscuit.
canard a false or unfounded report or story.
cancan a French dance.
cannelure a groove or fluting, esp. around a bullet etc.
capelin caplin capelan a small marine fish, very abundant on the coasts of Greenland, Iceland, Newfoundland, and Alaska, used as a bait for the cod.
capellet a cyst-like swelling on a horse's hock.
caponier caponiere a work made across or in the ditch, to protect it from the enemy, or to serve as a covered passageway.
caporal a coarse, strong, dark tobacco.
capote a long cloak or overcoat, especially one with a hood.
capriole a leap and kick performed by a trained horse; (verb) to make such a kick.
caracol caracole a half turn by a trained horse; a caper; (verb) to make such turn.
carafe a glass bottle for water or wine at a table, in a bedroom, etc.
carcel a French mechanical lamp, for lighthouses, in which a superabundance of oil is pumped to the wick tube by clockwork. [From Carcel, its French inventor].
cardecu cardecue an old French silver coin. [Fr. quart d'ecu].
careme Lent.
carillon a chime of bells diatonically tuned, played by clockwork or by finger keys. [LL. quaternion, via Old French quarregnon (by fours) with reference to the fact that the original carillon consisted of four bells hung in the tower of a church.]
carillonneur one who plays the CARILLON.
cariole carriole a small open carriage.
carmagnole a popular song and round dance of the French Revolutionary period.
carnet a customs or other permit; a book of coupons.
carombole a cannon in billiards; (verb) to make a cannon in billiards.
carousel carrousel a merry-go-round; a circular magazine for a slide projector
carrefour a crossroads, a plaza.
carte a bill of fare.
cartel a manufacturers' agreement or association formed to control marketing arrangements, regulate prices, etc.
cartonnage papyrus or linen soaked in plaster, shaped around a body; used for mummy masks and coffins.
cartouch cartouche a roll or case of paper, etc., holding a charge for a firearm; a cartridge; in Egyptian inscriptions, a circle with a horizontal bar at the bottom, elongated into an oval within which king's names are written.
casern caserne a barrack or billet for soldiers.
casque a helmet.
cassis a blackcurrant liqueur.
cassolette a small dish used for presenting hors d'oeuvres etc.
cassonade unrefined cane-sugar (imported in casks).
cassoulet a French stew consisting of haricot beans, onions, herbs etc.
castanet a musical instrument.
catafalque a temporary tomb used in funerals and processions.
cauchemar a nightmare.
causerie a light and informal conversation; a brief, conversational essay.
cavesson a noseband for a horse.
ceinture a belt for the waist.
celesta a musical instrument, a keyboard with bell-like tones.
celeste (noun) a soft pedal on a piano.
cendre ash-blond (the e has an accent).
centime one hundredth of a FRANC.
cepage a variety of grape, or the wine made from it.
cerise a colour, deep to vivid purplish-red.
cervelas cervelat a type of French sausage, seasoned with garlic.
chablis a white wine made near Chablis, a town in France.
chaconne a Spanish baroque dance in triple time.
chagrin annoyance; vexation; (verb) to disappoint deeply; to annoy > CHAGRINS, CHAGRINING or CHAGRINNING, CHAGRINED or CHAGRINNED.
chaine in ballet, a series of small fast turns used to cross a stage.
chaise a light open carriage for one or two people.
chalumeau an early rustic reed instrument that developed into the clarinet > CHALUMEAUX.
chamade a signal made for a parley by beat of a drum.
chambranle decoration around a door frame or fireplace.
chambre of wine, at room temperature (the e has an accent).
chamois shamois a deerlike animal found in the Alps; (verb) to prepare leather like chamois.
champignon an edible species of mushroom.
champleve a type of enamel work in which vitreous powders are laid in channels cut in a metal base. The e has an accent.
chancre a venereal sore or ulcer; specifically, the initial lesion of true syphilis.
chandelle an abrupt, climbing turn of an airplane; (verb) to perform this manoeuvre.
chanson a song.
chansonette a little song, a ditty.
chantage blackmail to prevent exposure of scandalous facts.
chantarelle chanterelle a kind of fungus.
chanteuse a female nightclub singer.
chantilly as in chantilly lace, a type of ornamental lace. No —S.
chapeau a hat > CHAPEAUS or CHAPEAUX.
chaperon chaperone a person who ensures propriety, esp. a married or older woman accompanying a young unmarried woman on social occasions; (verb) to act as a chaperone.
chapitre the capital of a column. [Fr. chapitre].
charabanc a sightseeing motor couch.
charade a written or (now usu.) acted clue from which a syllable of a word or a complete word is to be guessed.
charcuterie (a shop selling) cold meats made from pork.
charlotte a kind of pie or pudding made by lining a dish with slices of bread, and filling it with bread soaked in milk, and baked.
charmeuse a soft satiny material.
charpie shredded lint used to dress wounds.
chartreuse a light, yellowish green; an aromatic, usually yellow or green liqueur. [From La Grande Chartreuse, the name of the Carthusian monastery near Chartreuse in Grenoble where this liqueur was made].
chasse a movement in dancing, as across or to the right or left; (verb) to make such a movement.
chassepot a kind of breechloading, center-fire rifle, or improved needle gun.
chasseur a hunter; a liveried hotel attendant.
chassis the structural framework of a motor car to which the movable working parts and body may be attached > CHASSIS.
chateau a castle > CHATEAUS or CHATEAUX.
chatelain the governor of castle or fortification. Also CASTELLAN.
chatelaine a female CHATELAIN, a castle owner, manager or caretaker.
chaton the setting or stone of a finger-ring.
chatoyant (of) iridescent undulating lustre.
chauffeur one who drives car for another.
chauffeuse a female CHAUFFEUR.
chaussure a foot covering of any kind.
chauvin one with excessive pride in his own country. [From Nicolas Chauvin, an ardent veteran of Napoleon's].
chechia a cylindrical skullcap, worn by Arabs and adopted by French troops in N. Africa. [Fr. chechia f. Maghribi pronunc. of Arab. sasiyya, f. Arab. Tashkent in Uzbekistan.]
chemise a garment for the upper body; esp. a woman's loose-fitting undergarment or dress hanging straight from the shoulders.
chemisette an under-garment, worn by women, usually covering the neck, shoulders, and breast.
chenet an ANDIRON.
chenille a velvety silk, wool or cotton fabric with protruding pile.
cher dear.
chere dear (feminine).
chevalet the bridge of a stringed instrument.
chevalier a cavalier, a knight.
chevet the east end of (especially French Gothic) church or chancel.
cheville an unnecessary word added to round off a sentence or complete a line of verse.
chevre a cheese made from goat's milk.
chevrette a kind of thin kid leather; a machine for raising guns or mortars into their carriages.
chevron to provide with chevrons or things arranged in a chevron pattern; make with a chevron pattern.
chevrotain a small deer-like mammal.
chevrotin a kind of soft cheese made from goats' milk.
chez at the home of.
chicane to quibble, to use tricks and artifices.
chiffon a sheer silk fabric.
chiffonade green plants cooked in butter, esp. a mixture of lettuce and sorrel.
chiffonier chiffonnier a chest of drawers.
chignon a knot or roll of hair worn at the back of the head.
chimere chimar chimer a loose sleeveless robe worn by Anglican bishops.
chinois cinque a cone-shaped sieve.
chinoiserie decoration, furniture etc. imitating Chinese design.
chose a thing.
chou a cabbage; an ornamental soft rosette; a cream bun > CHOUX.
choucroute pickled cabbage.
chut an expression of impatience.
chypre a mixture of resins used in making perfume. [Fr. = Cyprus, where perh. orig. made].
cimier the crest of a helmet.
cineast cineaste one who takes an artistic interest in motion pictures.
cinquain a group of five, especially a five-line stanza.
cinq cinque five; the number five in dice or cards.
cipaille a kind of pie with layers of meat and pastry.
cire a fabric with a waxed finish (the e is accented).
cirque a deep round hollow formed by glaciation.
ciseleur a chaser (of metal).
ciselure the art of chasing metal.
clafouti clafoutis a French baked pudding.
clairvoyant having or exercising the faculty of clairvoyance; pertaining to clairvoyance.
claque a group hired to applaud at a performance; a group of sycophants.
claqueur one of the claque employed to applaud at a theater.
clavecin the harpsichord.
clementine a type of orange; a hybrid of orange and tangerine.
cliché a hackneyed expression, a stereotype.
clientele a body of clients, a following; the customers (of a shop); the patrons (of a theatre etc.).
clinique a clinic.
clinquant glittering, of gold or tinsel; (noun) imitation gold leaf; (fig.) literary or artistic tinsel; false glitter.
clochard a beggar; a vagrant. [Fr. clocher, to limp, from L. clopus, lame.]
cloche a cover for tender plants.
cloison a partition; a dividing band.
cloisonne inlaid between partitions: -- said of enamel when the lines which divide the different patches of fields are composed of a kind of metal wire secured to the ground; cf. CHAMPLEVE enamel, in which the ground is engraved or scooped out.
cloque a fabric with an embossed design.
cloture a means of ending a legislative debate; (verb) to close a parliamentary debate.
clou the main point of interest; a dominant idea > CLOUS.
cocotte a prostitute; a flirt or tease.
codille a term at the card game OMBER, signifying that the game is won.
coffret a small coffer; a presentation box.
cognac a kind of brandy.
coiffeur a hairdresser.
coiffeuse a (female) hairdresser.
coiffure a headdress, or manner of dressing the hair; (verb) to dress the hair.
cointreau a colourless liqueur with orange flavouring > COINTREAUS.
collage (verb) to arrange materials in a collage.
collarette a small collar.
colloque to hold a COLLOQUY.
cologne a perfumed liquid, composed of alcohol and certain aromatic oils, used in the toilet; aka cologne water and eau de cologne.
colportage the distribution of religious books, tracts, etc., by COLPORTEURS.
colporteur a peddler of religious books.
comble the acme.
comice a variety of pear.
comique a comic actor or singer.
commere a female compere.
commis a deputy, a clerk; a junior waiter or chef.
commode a chamber-pot enclosed in a chair or box with a cover.
communard a member of a commune; a communist.
commune a French territorial division, the smallest for administrative purposes; a similar division elsewhere.
communique an official communication; esp. an official statement reporting on a meeting, conference; etc.
compere a person in a cabaret act, radio or television show, etc., who introduces the performers, comments on the turns, etc; (verb) to act as a compere to.
compot compote a preparation of fruit in syrup in such a manner as to preserve its form, either whole, halved, or quartered; as, a compote of pears.
compotier a dish, usually with a stemmed base, for serving dessert.
comte a French nobleman.
concierge one who keeps the entrance to an edifice, public or private; a doorkeeper; a janitor, male or female.
concordat an agreement between the pope and a secular government.
concours a competition, a contest.
conferencier a lecturer, a public speaker; a (leading) member of a conference.
confidant a (male) person entrusted with knowledge of one's private affairs (orig. esp. one's love affairs) or thoughts.
confidante a (female) person entrusted with knowledge of one's private affairs (orig. esp. one's love affairs) or thoughts.
confiserie a confectionery.
confiseur a confectioner.
confrere a fellow member of a fraternity; an intimate associate.
confrerie a brotherhood.
conge congee a bow, a dismissal; (verb) to take one's leave.
connoisseur one who appreciates fine things e.g. wines, the arts.
conseil advice, council.
conservatoire a school of music.
consomme a clear soup or BOUILLON boiled down so as to be very rich.
conte a short story (as a literary genre).
contrat a contract, an agreement.
contrecoup a concussion or shock produced by a blow or other injury, in a part or region opposite to that at which the blow is received, often causing rupture or disorganisation of the parts affected.
contredanse a folk dance in which two lines of couples face each other.
contretemps an embarrassing occurrence; a mishap.
controle registered, hallmarked (the e has an accent).
convenance that which is suitable, agreeable, or convenient.
copataine a sugar-loaf hat.
coquelicot brilliant red; poppy red.
coquet coquette to flirt, to dally.
corbeau a blackish-green colour.
corbeil a basket filled with earth used as a missile.
corbeille a basket of flowers.
cordelle a rope esp. on a ship.
cornemuse a French mouth blown bagpipe with chanter and small drone in one stock, and a separate large drone.
corniche a coastal road, especially one running along a cliff face.
cornichon a small gherkin.
corsetiere a (female) corset maker.
cortege a train of attendants; a procession.
corvee an obligation to perform certain services, as the repair of roads, for the lord or sovereign.
corvette a highly manoeuvrable armed escort ship.
coryphee a leading dancer of a corps de ballet.
coteau uplands; higher ground of a region > COTEAUX.
cotelette a cutlet, a chop.
coterie a social or literary circle.
cotillion cotillon an elaborate ballroom dance with frequent changes of partner.
cotise cottise in heraldry, an ordinary, one quarter of a bend in breadth; (verb) to border with cotises.
coucal a large, Old World, ground cuckoo of the genus Centropus, of several species. [Fr., said to be f. couc(ou cuckoo + al(ouette lark].
couche not erect; inclined; -- said of anything that is usually erect, as an escutcheon.
couchee an evening reception.
couchette a sleeping-berth on a continental train.
coude (of a reflecting telescope) in which one or more plane mirrors reflects the light down the polar axis. (The e has an accent).
coulee a stream.
coulis a thin puree of fish, fowl, fruit or vegetables > COULISES.
coulisse a piece of timber having a groove in which something glides.
couloir a deep Alpine gorge.
coulomb the SI unit of electric charge. [From C. A. de Coulomb (1736—1806), French physicist].
coupe a four-wheeled closed horse-drawn carriage.
coupee a salute to one's partner in dancing.
coupure a passage cut through a glacis to facilitate sallies by the besieged.
courant courante an old dance with a gliding step. (Also CORANTO, COURANTO).
courbette curvet.
courgette a small variety of vegetable marrow, aka ZUCCHINI.
couteau a knife; a dagger > COUTEAUX.
coutil coutille a strong cotton fabric used in mattresses etc.
couture dressmaking; (the design and making of) fashionable garments, esp. French ones.
couturiere a (female) dressmaker or dress designer.
couturiere a (male) dressmaker or dress designer.
couvade a custom among some peoples, whereby the husband of a woman giving birth simulates pregnancy and labour.
couvert a cover (at table).
coyau a steep roof design.
crapaud a frog or toad.
craquelure fine cracking that appears in old paintings.
cravat a scarf or band worn as necktie. [Fr. cravate, from Cravates, 17th century Croatian mercenaries who wore a scarf in battle].
creche a nursery.
cremaillere a zigzag line of fortification.
creme cream.
crenel crenelle a crenellation.
crepe light crinkled fabric; (verb) to cover with this.
creperie a restaurant specialising in pancakes.
cretonne a heavy cotton or linen cloth.
cretons a spread of shredded pork cooked with onions in pork fat.
crevette a shrimp or prawn.
criant garish; discordantly coloured.
crible punctured like a sieve, dotted. (The e has an accent).
crinolette a small CRINOLINE causing the dress to project behind only.
crinoline a stiff fabric made of horsehair and cotton or linen thread, used for linings, hats, etc., and formerly for skirts and to expand a petticoat.
critique a criticism; esp. a critical analysis, article, or essay.
croche a knob at the top of a deer's horn.
croissant a crescent-shaped roll.
crokinole a board game popular in Canada in which players flick wooden discs.
croquante a crisp pie or tart.
croquette a ball or cylindrical cake of minced meat, potatoes etc.
croquis an outline or rough sketch > CROQUIS.
crosse the stick with which lacrosse is played.
crossette a small projecting part of an impost-stone at the extremity of an arch.
croupade in dressage, a leap in which the horse draws its hind legs up towards its belly.
croupier an attendant who collects and pays bets.
croustade a case of fried bread or pastry for serving game.
croute a slice of fried bread served as an entree.
crouton a small cube of fried bread, used in soup or salads.
cru (the grade or quality of wine produced in) a French vineyard or wine-producing region > CRUS.
crudites raw fruit and vegetables served as hors d'oeuvre.
crypton krypton an element, an inert gas. [Gk. cryptein, to hide].
cuirassier a soldier who wears a CUIRASS.
cuisine cooking.
culet the flat back or base of a gemstone.
culotte a divided skirt.
cunette an fortifications, a trench sunk along the middle of a dry ditch or moat, serving as a drain, a CUVETTE.
curettage the act of using a CURETTE.
curette an instrument for scraping sides of body cavities; (verb) to scrape with a CURETTE.
cuvee a vat of blended wine of uniform quality.
cuvette a shallow dish for holding liquids.
dais a platform.
dalle a slab or tile, often decorative.
dancette dancettee in heraldry, a zigzag line across a shield.
danseur a professional dancer.
danseuse a professional female dancer; a woman who dances at a public exhibition as in a ballet.
dariole a small cylindrical mould used in cooking.
dartre a herpes-like skin disease.
daube a meat stew.
dauphin the title of the eldest son of the king of France, and heir to the crown.
debacle a great disaster; a complete failure, a fiasco. [Fr. debacle, from debacler, to unbolt or unbar].
debonair debonnaire of good appearance, elegant.
debouchure the mouth of a river or strait.
debride to remove the debris from a wound.
debridement the surgical removal of dead, infected tissue or foreign matter from a wound.
debut a beginning.
debutant one making a beginning.
debutante one (female) making a beginning, esp. in society.
decheance forfeiture.
decime a French coin, the tenth part of a franc, equal to about two cents.
declasse (someone) having lost caste or social standing.
decolletage the low-cut neckline of a woman's garment.
decollete low-cut at the neck.
decor scenery and stage embellishments; a general decorative effect.
decoupage the application of paper cutouts to wood surfaces.
dedans spectators at a court tennis match.
defi a challenge.
defilade to arrange (fortifications) so as to protect the lines from frontal or enfilading fire and the interior from fire from above or behind.
degage unconstrained, easy; uninvolved.
degout distaste.
degras a fat obtained from sheepskins > DEGRAS.
degringolade a rapid decline or deterioration (as in strength, position, or condition).
delaine a kind of fabric for women's dresses.
delassement a relaxation.
delice a delight; a delicacy.
demarche a course of action; a manoeuvre; a diplomatic representation or protest.
dementi a contradiction, a denial; now esp. an official denial of a published statement.
demijohn a large bottle having a wicker case. [Fr. Dame-Jeanne].
demilune a work constructed beyond the main ditch of a fortress, and in front of the curtain between two bastions, intended to defend the curtain; a ravelin. Cf. SEMILUNE.
demimondaine a DEMIREP, a woman of doubtful reputation or suspected character; an adventuress.
demimonde a class of women on the fringes of respectable society supported by wealthy lovers; a group having little reputation.
demitasse (the quantity contained by) a half-cup (esp. of black coffee).
demode old-fashioned.
demoiselle (arch.) a young girl or unmarried woman.
denouement the final outcome.
dentelle lace; lacework.
depanneur a convenience store in French Canada.
departement an administrative department.
depeche a despatch, message.
deracine (someone) uprooted from one's environment; displaced geographically or socially > DERACINES.
derailleur a type of gearing for a bicycle.
dernier in phrase DERNIER CRI - 'last cry'; latest fashion; newest discovery.
derriere backside.
desagrement something disagreeable.
deshabille an undress; a careless toilet. Cf. DISHABILLE.
desoeuvre unoccupied, at a loose end.
desoriente having lost one's bearings, confused.
detente a relaxation of strained relations, esp. between countries.
detenu a (male) prisoner, esp. a political prisoner in India.
detenue a (female) prisoner, esp. a political prisoner in India.
detraque a person who is deranged.
detraquee a (female) person who is deranged.
developpe a ballet position.
devoir what is due; duty.
devore of velvet or satin, having a design etched with acid. (The es have accents).
devot a devotee.
diable an unglazed earthenware casserole.
diablerie diablery black magic; demon lore; mischievous conduct or manner.
diamante a decoration on a dress consisting of glittering ornaments. The e is accented.
diedre a rock angle or re-entrant corner, usu. with a crack in it.
difficile difficult; hard to manage; stubborn.
dinanderie a bronze-coloured metal alloy used for decorative vessels.
directrice a female director. Formerly also, a governess.
dirigisme dirigism state control in economic and social spheres.
dirigiste relating to state control in economic and social spheres.
diseur a reciter or entertainer.
diseuse a female DISEUR, a reciter.
dishabille an undress; a loose, negligent dress. Cf. DESHABILLE.
distingue distinguished in appearance, manner, or bearing.
distrait distraite distracted in mind; excessively perplexed or troubled.
divertissement a diversion or entertainment.
dizain a ten-line stanza or poem.
doctrinaire a person who tries to apply principle without allowance for circumstance; a pedantic theorist.
domaine an estate where wine is made.
dominique dominick one of an American breed of chickens.
donne donnee a datum, something given.
dore gilded (the e has an accent).
dossier a compendium of documents; the word derives from the idea of folders being labelled on the spines.
douane a customhouse.
douanier a Customs official.
doublure an ornamental lining on the inside of book: leather or vellum.
doucepere douzeper one of the twelve peers of France, companions of Charlemagne in war.
douceur gentleness or sweetness; a subtly offered bribe.
doucine a CYMA RECTA, an ogee moulding of the cornice.
dourine a contagious disease of horses.
doux of champagne, very sweet.
doyen a man who is the eldest or senior member of a group or profession.
doyenne a women who is the eldest or senior member of a group or profession.
dragee a sugar-coated sweetmeat.
dragonnade a persecution conducted by Louis XIV against French Protestants in the 1680s, in which dragoons were quartered on them; any persecution conducted with the aid of troops.
dressage the training of a horse in deportment.
droguet a ribbed woollen dress.
droit a right; law in its aspect of the foundation of rights.
dubonnet a red colour.
duchesse a table-cover or centrepiece.
dumortierite an orthorhombic borosilicate of aluminium occurring as small violet or blue needles or fibrous masses esp. in gneisses and schists. [From V.-E. Dumortier (1802—76). French geologist].
dupion a coarse silk. [Fr. doupion, from Ita. doppione, double].
duvet a quilt stuffed with eiderdown.
duxelles a mince of mushrooms, chopped shallots and herbs simmered in butter. [From the Marquis d'Uxelles].
eau water > EAUS or EAUX.
ebauche a rough draught or sketch.
ebeniste a cabinetmaker.
eboulement the falling in of the wall of a fortification; a landslip.
ebrillade a bridle check; a jerk of one rein, given to a horse when he refuses to turn.
ecarte a game at cards, played usually by two persons, in which the players may discard any or all of the cards dealt and receive others from the pack.
echappe an ballet, a kind of leap.
echelle an arrangement of ribbons in the form of a ladder, decorating the front of the stomacher of a dress, etc. [Fr. echelle, ladder].
eclaircissement clarification, enlightenment.
eclat great brilliance, acclamation; conspicuous success.
ecorche a manikin, or image, representing an animal, especially man, with the skin removed so that the muscles are exposed for purposes of study.
ecossaise a dancing tune in the Scotch style.
ecraseur an instrument intended to replace the knife in many operations, the parts operated on being severed by the crushing effect produced by the gradual tightening of a steel chain, so that haemorrhage rarely follows.
ecritoire a writing-desk.
ecru (having) the color or appearance of unbleached stuff, as silk, linen, or the like.
ecu the European monetary unit.
ecuelle a two-handled soup bowl.
ecurie a stable.
effleurage a stroking movement in massage.
egalite equality.
egarement confusion, bewilderment.
eglomise the technique of gilding the back of a sheet of glass > EGLOMISES.
elan ardour inspired by passion or enthusiasm.
elance to throw as a lance.
eloge a commendation; an encomium.
embarras an embarrassment.
embassade the mission of an ambassador.
embonpoint plumpness of person; stoutness.
embouchure the position and use of the lips in producing a musical tone on a wind instrument.
embusque in ambush; (noun) a slacker or shirker, a person who evades military service.
emeute a popular rising or uproar.
emigre one of the natives of France who were opposed to the first Revolution, and who left their country in consequence.
emigree a female emigre.
empennage the tail assembly of an airplane. [Fr. empennage (feathers of an arrow), from empenner (to feather an arrow), from em- + penner, from penne (feather), from L. penna (feather).]
empiecement an insertion in a garment.
empresse eager, enthusiastic.
empressement extreme politeness.
enceinte pregnant.
encolure a horse's mane.
encore again.
endive a salad plant of the chicory genus.
enfant child, as in 'enfant terrible', anyone -- young or old -- whose behavior shocks others by e.g. a disregard for convention.
enfilade a number of things arranged as if threaded on a string; (verb) to discharge or be in a position to discharge firearms along the whole length of a line.
engrenage the process of preparing for effective joint action.
enleve carried away, kidnapped.
enlevement (Scots law) the abduction of a woman or child.
ennui a feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction; boredom; (verb) to bore, annoy.
ennuye affected with ennui; weary in spirits; emotionally exhausted.
ensemble the whole; all the parts taken together.
ensuite a room, esp. a bathroom, adjoining another room.
entablature that part of a design in classical architecture which surmounts the columns and rests upon the capitals.
entente understanding.
entete entetee obstinate.
entourage a group of people in attendance on or accompanying someone important.
entrechat a ballet leap in which the dancer repeatedly crosses the legs.
entrecote a steak cut from between two ribs.
entree a dish served between the fish course and the main meat course; in North America, the main dish of a meal.
entrepot a center of trade and transshipment.
entrepreneur one who undertakes commercial ventures.
entrepreneuse a female ENTREPRENEUR.
entresol a low story between two higher ones, usually between the ground floor and the first story; a MEZZANINE.
entrez come in.
envoi the concluding part of a poem or book.
eolienne a fine dress fabric of silk and wool.
epatant wonderful, marvellous.
epater to shock complacent people.
epaule the shoulder of a bastion.
epaulet epaulette a shoulder ornament or badge worn by military and naval officers.
epee a kind of sword used in fencing.
eperdu desperately in love (of a male).
eperdue desperately in love (of a female).
epergne a branched ornamental centrepiece.
epicier a grocer.
epopee epic poetry, especially as a literary genre.
epris captivated or smitten.
eprise captivated or smitten (of a female).
eprouvette an apparatus for testing or proving the strength of gunpowder.
epuise exhausted (of a male).
epuisee exhausted (of a female).
equipe in motor-racing and other sports, a team.
escabeche pickled vegetables such as onions, carrots, jalapeno peppers and garlic, typically served with fish.
escadrille a squadron of aircraft; a flotilla.
escalade escalado the scaling of walls of a fortress by ladders.
escalier a staircase.
escalop escalope a thin slice of boneless meat or (occas.) fish; esp. a special cut of veal from the leg.
escamotage juggling.
escargot a snail as an article of food.
escarmouche a skirmish.
escarole a wavy-leafed salad plant of the ENDIVE family.
eschalot an onion with garlic-flavoured bulbs, a shallot.
eschar a dry slough, crust, or scab, which separates from the healthy part of the body, as that produced by a burn, or the application of caustics.
esclandre unpleasant notoriety; a scandal, a scene.
escopette a kind of firearm; a carbine.
escritoire a writing-desk.
escroc a swindler.
espadrille a sandal with rope bottom and canvas top.
espagnole a brown sauce flavoured with tomatoes and sherry.
espagnolette the fastening of a French window.
espalier a lattice on which trees are trained across.
esperance (Arch.) hope, used as a war-cry.
espiegle roguish, frolicsome, arch.
espieglerie the quality of being ESPIEGLE, roguish, frolicsome, arch.
esplanade a promenade along the shore.
espoir a category of wrestler.
esprit spirit, wit.
esquisse the first sketch of a picture or model of a statue.
estacade a dike of stakes in a river against an enemy.
estafette a mounted courier.
estaminet a small cafe; a bistro.
estoc a short sword.
estoile etoile a six-pointed star whose rays are wavy, instead of straight like those of a mullet.
estrade a low platform or dais.
estrapade a horse's attempt to throw its rider.
etage a floor storey.
etagere a piece of furniture having a number of unenclosed shelves or stages, one above another, for receiving articles of elegance or use.
etalage a display, esp. of goods in a shop window.
etalon a pair of half-reflecting flat plates of glass or quartz fixed parallel to one another a small distance apart, used to produce interference patterns.
etamin etamine a loosely woven open-mesh cotton or worsted fabric.
etape a storehouse; a halting-place; a day's march.
etat the staff of an army, including all officers above the rank of colonel, also, all adjutants, inspectors, quartermasters, commissaries, engineers, ordnance officers, paymasters, physicians, signal officers and judge advocates.
etatisme etatism extreme state control over the individual.
etatiste an advocate of ETATISME.
etiquette the conventional rules of personal behaviour in polite society.
etouffee a Cajun stew.
etourderie heedlessness or stupid blundering.
etourdi foolish, thoughtless.
etourdie fem. of ETOURDI, foolish, thoughtless.
etranger a (male) foreigner.
etrangere a (female) foreigner.
etrenne a New Year's gift; a Christmas-box.
etrier a small rope ladder used by mountaineers.
etude a composition in the fine arts which is intended, or may serve, for a study.
etui etwee a small ornamental case for holding e.g. needles.
evenement an event or happening; spec. a political strike.
evolue (characteristic of or designating) an African who has had a European education or has adopted European ways or attitudes.
exemple an example or model.
exergue a space on a coin, token or medal usually on the reverse below the date. [Fr. from Greek ex out of, and ergon, work].
exigeant exacting.
exigeante (feminine form of EXIGEANT) exacting.
externat a day-school.
extrados the exterior curve of an arch; esp. the upper curved face of the whole body of VOUSSOIRS. Cf. INTRADOS.
extrait an extract.
fabliau one of the metrical tales of the Trouveres, or early poets of the north of France > FABLIAUX.
faburden a type of improvised polyphony, popular in England from the 15th cent. to the Reformation.
facade a front.
faconne a fabric with a pattern of small figures woven into it.
fadaise an obvious or silly remark.
fadeur dullness, inspidity.
faible the part of a foil blade between the middle and the point.
faience fayence a glazed material, with a base of either carved soapstone or moulded clay, with an overlay of blue/green colored glass.
faille a shiny closely woven silk, cotton or rayon fabric.
faineance faineancy doing nothing, being a mere puppet.
faineant given to do nothing, idle, lazy; (noun) an idle person. [Fr. fainéant, alteration of fait-nient (literally, does nothing), by folk etymology from faignant, present participle of faindre (to feign).]
faineantise do-nothing-ness; indisposition to do anything; indifference, inactivity.
falcade a motion of a horse throwing itself on its haunches.
famille a type of Chinese porcelain.
fanfarade a fanfare.
fanfaronade empty boasting, bluster.
fantasque a fancy, a whim.
farandole a lively Provençal dance in which men and women hold hands.
farceur a farcer, writer of farces.
farceuse a female FARCEUR, a writer of farces.
farci farcie stuffed, as with ground meat
faubourg a suburb of French city; also, a district now within a city, but formerly without its walls.
fauteuil an enclosed seat in theatre.
fauve an exponent of the art movement FAUVISM.
fauvette a small singing bird, as the nightingale and warblers.
fauvism a school of art noted for bold, often distorted forms and vivid colors.
faux fake, as in faux naif: falsely simple or naive, feigning artlessness.
femme a woman.
ferroniere ferronniere a jewel held on a forehead by a chain.
fete a festival.
feuillete a puff pastry.
feuilleton (a part of a newspaper etc. devoted to) fiction, criticism, light literature, etc.; an article or work suitable for or printed in that part.
fiacre a small hackney carriage.
fiance one (male) who is betrothed.
fiancee one (female) who is betrothed.
fiche a card or strip of film containing miniaturized data.
fichu a light cape, usually of lace, worn by women, to cover the neck and throat, and extending to the shoulders.
figurant a ballet dancer who dances only in groups.
filasse vegetable fibre prepared for manufacture.
filature (an establishment for) the reeling of silk from cocoons.
fille girl.
filoselle (silk thread similar to) floss silk.
fini finished; ruined.
fixatif a fixing agent.
flacon a small decorative flagon with a tight-fitting stopper.
flambe to douse (e.g. a pancake) with a liqueur and ignite.
flambeau a flaming torch > FLAMBEAUS or FLAMBEAUX.
flambee doused with a liqueur and ignited.
flanconade a thrust in the side.
flanerie aimless idling, dawdling.
flaneur an idle man-about-town; a lounger, gossiper.
fleche a simple fieldwork, consisting of two faces forming a salient angle pointing outward and open at the gorge; (arch.) a thin spire.
flechette a steel dart dropped from an aeroplane or fired from a gun.
fleur a flower.
fleuret fleurette an ornament resembling a small flower.
fleuron a decorative pastry motif.
flic (sl.) policeman.
foible a minor character failing.
folie madness.
fonctionnaire a civil servant.
fondant a soft sweet made with flavoured sugar and water.
fondu fondue a snack of melted cheese.
fontange a kind of tall headdress worn in the 17th and 18th centuries. [From the Duchesse de Fontanges, a mistress of Louis XIV].
forcat a convict condemned to hard labour.
forte one's strong point.
fossette a small hollow or depression, as in a bone or shell.
foudroyant sudden and overwhelming in effect; dazzling.
fouette a ballet-step in which the foot makes a whip-like movement.
fougade fougasse a small mine, in the form of a well sunk from the surface of the ground, charged with explosive and projectiles.
foulard a soft lightweight plain-woven or twilled silk fabric.
foule a fulled cloth, esp. a light woollen smooth-surfaced dress material. The e has an accent.
fourchette a forked reinforcement on the backs of gloves.
fourgon a baggage-wagon.
foyer a large room in a theatre or concert hall for the use of the audience during intervals.
fracas a rumpus, a to-do.
fraicheur freshness.
fraise a kind of palisade; (verb) to fence with such a palisade.
framboise raspberry; a shade of pink: raspberry colour.
franc a French unit of currency.
francolin a spurred partridge of the genus Francolinus and allied genera, of Asia and Africa.
franglais a mixture of French and English.
frappant striking, affecting.
frappe frappee of coffee etc., iced, artificially cooled; (noun) an iced drink.
fredaine an escapade or prank.
frescade a cool walk.
friand dainty or delicate; (noun) a (female) epicure.
friande dainty or delicate; (noun) a (male) epicure.
fricandeau a thick slice of veal or similar meat.
fricassee a dish made of fowls, veal, or other meat of small animals cut into pieces, and stewed in a gravy.
fripon a knave or scamp.
friponnerie knavery.
frise frieze a decorated strip between architrave and cornice; a rough heavy woollen cloth; (verb) to put a frieze on.
frisee a variety of curly endive.
frisette frizette a curl of hair or silk; a pad of frizzed hair or silk worn by women under the hair to stuff it out.
friseur a hairdresser.
frisson an emotional thrill; a shudder of emotion.
frisure the dressing of the hair by crisping or curling.
friture a dish of fried food, a fritter.
froideur coolness in personal relationships.
fromage cheese.
frondeur a member of the Fronde, a rebellious movement established in France during the reign of Louis XIV.
fronton frontoon a pediment.
frottage the technique of taking a rubbing from an uneven surface, by rubbing graphite over paper laid on top of the rough texture; the practice of obtaining sexual gratification by rubbing against someone, both parties usually being clothed.
frotteur the active participant in FROTTAGE, in the sexual sense.
froufrou the rustling of silk; frills or decoration.
fumet fumette the scent of game when high.
funebre mournful.
fureur an extravagant admiration.
fusarol fusarole a moulding generally placed under the echinus or quarter round of capitals in the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian orders of architecture.
fusee fuzee a match with a long oval head for outdoor use.
fuselage the elongated body section of an aeroplane, containing the crew and passengers or cargo.
fusillade a simultaneous or successive discharge of firearms.
gabelle a salt tax.
gabion a wicker or wire basket of earth or rock.
gabionade a traverse made with GABIONS between guns or on their flanks, protecting them from enfilading fire.
gaffe a faux pas, a social mistake.
galant characterized by lightness and elegance.
galantine a preparation of jellied fowl.
galere a group of esp. undesirable people; an unpleasant situation.
galette a round, flat, sweet or savoury cake.
galimatias nonsensical talk; gibberish; gobbledygook.
galiot galliot a small galley, formerly used in the Mediterranean. [Fr. galiote, from L. galea].
galipot the turpentine that exudes from the cluster pine.
gallet a small pebble; (verb) to fill in mortar joints with small pebbles. [Fr. galet, pebble].
gallimaufry a hash of liver and other organs; hotch-potch. [Fr. galimafrée, from OF galimafree, sauce, ragout].
gallopade a lively ballroom dance in 2/4 time; a piece of music for this dance; (verb) to dance a gallopade.
galop a lively double-time dance; (verb) to dance this > GALOPPING or GALOPING, GALOPPED or GALOPED.
galopade a lively round dance. Cf. GALOP, GALLOPADE.
galopin an errand boy, kitchen boy.
gamay a variety of red grape used in making dry red wine. [From a French village].
gambade a bound or spring of a horse.
gamin a street urchin; a precocious imp.
gamine a homeless girl, a (female) urchin.
gaminerie impishness, boyishness (in a girl).
ganache a creamy chocolate mixture. [Fr. 'jowl'].
gangue rock in which veins of ore are embedded.
garagiste the owner or proprietor of a commercial garage.
garbure a kind of Basque soup.
garcon boy, waiter.
garderobe a chamber for storing clothes; a wardrobe; a private chamber, a privy.
garigue garrigue an uncultivated open scrubland of the Mediterranean region.
garni trimmed, garnished.
garniture embellishment, trimming; a set of decorative objects.
gascon a braggart.
gasconade boasting, bravado; (verb) to boast.
gaspereau a fish of the herring family found on the Atlantic coast of N. America, aka ALEWIFE > GASPEREAUS.
gateau cake > GATEAUS or GATEAUX.
gauche awkward, clumsy.
gaucherie an awkward or socially unacceptable remark.
gavage the introduction of material into the stomach by a tube: forced-feeding (as of poultry or infants).
gavot gavotte a kind of difficult dance; a dance tune, the air of which has two brisk and lively, yet dignified, strains in common time, each played twice over.
gazar a stiff silk fabric, silk organza.
gelee a cosmetic gel.
gendarme a French policeman > GENDARMES or GENSDARMES.
gendarmerie the French police.
genoise a rich sponge cake.
genouillere a jointed knee-piece in armour.
gentilhomme a nobleman, a gentleman > GENTILSHOMMES.
georgette a kind of thin silk.
gerbe a kind of ornamental firework. [Fr. gerbe, sheaf].
gerbil gerbille jerbil a desert rodent.
gibus an opera hat. [Maker's name].
gigolo a professional male dancing-partner or escort; a (usu. young) man supported by a (usu. older) woman in return for his attentions.
gigot jigot a leg of lamb
gigue giga a lively Baroque dance in triple time.
gilet a light often padded waistcoat, usu. worn for warmth by women.
girandole girandola a branched chandelier or similar structure.
gite in France, a farmhouse offering holiday accommodation.
glace iced with sugar; (verb) to ice with sugar, candy.
glacis a gentle slope in fortification.
glissade to slide down a steep slope esp. of snow by means of a glissade.
gloire glory.
gloriole an aureole.
godet a triangular piece of cloth inserted in a skirt.
gorgerin in some columns, that part of the capital between the termination of the shaft and the annulet of the echinus, or the space between two neck moldings.
gouache painting with gum-based opaque water colors.
gougere a kind of choux pastry, the dough of which has been mixed with grated cheese prior to baking.
goujon a small strip of fish coated with flour and deep-fried.
gourde a monetary unit of Cuba, Haiti etc., a silver dollar.
gourmet a connoisseur in eating and drinking; an epicure.
goutte a drop, a droplet.
gouvernante a female governor or ruler.
grande grand, big.
grandeur impressive size.
gratin the golden-brown crust covering a gratinated food or dish.
gratine cooked or served au gratin.
gratinee to cook or serve au gratin.
grattoir a scraper made of flint.
grecque a fret pattern in architecture.
greffier in the Channel Isles, a registrar, a notary.
grege greige of a grey-beige colour.
grenache a variety of grape, or the wine made from it.
gridelin a colour, pale purple and red. [Fr. gris-de-lin, flax grey].
griffe a claw-shaped decoration at the base of a column.
grillade the act of grilling; also, that which is grilled.
grimoire a magician's manual for invoking demons and spirits of the dead.
griot in Africa, a tribal teller of tales.
grisaille a style of painting in grey tints.
grisette a French girl or young married woman of the lower class; more frequently, a young working woman who is fond of gallantry.
grison a South American animal of the family Mustelidae (Galictis vittata), about two feet long, exclusive of the tail. Its under parts are black.
grivet a long-tailed African monkey.
grosgrain a heavy close-woven corded silk.
grossierete coarseness.
gruyere a kind of cheese made at Gruyere, Switzerland.
guenon a kind of long-legged African monkey.
gueridon a small ornate table or stand.
guerite a projecting turret for a sentry, as at the salient angles of works, or the acute angles of bastions.
guichet a ticket window or similar small opening.
guidon a pennant.
guillemet a quotation mark.
guilloche to decorate with intersecting curved lines.
guillotine an instrument for beheading consisting of a weighted blade with a diagonal edge which is allowed to drop between two tall grooved uprights. [From Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, French physician (1738—1814) who suggested its use for executions in 1789].
guimpe a wide cloth covering neck and shoulders worn by nuns.
guipure a kind of lace having no ground or mesh.
gurlet a pickaxe with one pointed and one bladed end.
habitan habitant a French native of Louisiana or Carolina.
habitue one who habitually frequents a place; as, an habitue of a theatre.
hachis a hash, a mess.
hachure a line used in shading maps to indicate steepness of slope; (verb) to shade with hachures.
haricot a kind of pea or bean.
harlequinade part of a pantomime in which a HARLEQUIN plays a chief part.
haut haughty; high.
hautbois hautboy a large kind of strawberry.
haute feminine of HAUT, haughty, high.
hauteur haughtiness; arrogance.
hennin a steeple-hat with a veil hanging from it, worn by French women in the 15C.
herisse bristled.
herisson a pivoted beam with iron spikes, protecting wall, passage, etc. [Fr. herisson, hedghog].
hollandaise (designating) a sauce made with butter, egg-yolks, vinegar or white wine, and lemon juice, usu. served with fish.
homme a man.
hors out of the combat; disabled from fighting.
hotelier a person who runs or owns a hotel.
houdan a black-and-white five-toed domestic fowl.
huissier a doorkeeper.
huitain a group of eight lines of verse.
idee idea.
immortelle a plant with flowers that retain their color when dried.
impasse a position from which there is no escape, a deadlock.
inconnu an unknown person; a stranger; a large food fish of NW Canada.
inconnue (feminine) unknown.
ingenu an artless, naive young man.
ingenue an artless, naive young woman.
insigne signs or badges of office, insignia.
intime inward; internal; intimate.
intimiste a practiser of INTIMISM, a genre of French impressionism.
intrados the undersurface of an arch or vault.
intrigante intriguante a female intriguer.
ivresse drunkenness.
izard a variety of the chamois found in the Pyrenees.
jabot a lace frill worn on shirt or dress front.
jacobin an extremist or radical in politics.
jacquard an intricately-woven variegated fabric; a loom for making jacquard.
jacquerie a peasant's revolt, esp in 1358, the French peasant uprising against nobility.
jalousie an outside shutter with slats. [Such blinds served in old Arabic ages to protect from being seen when having an intimate relationship, so that nobody else would become jealous].
japonaiserie art or craft in the Japanese style.
jardiniere an ornamental stand or receptacle for plants, flowers, etc., used as a piece of decorative furniture in room.
jargonel jargonelle an early pear.
jargoon a brilliant pale or colourless zircon.
jaspe mottled, variegated; (noun) a cotton cloth with a shaded effect.
jeton jetton a piece of stamped metal used as a counter in card-playing.
jeu game > JEUX.
jeune young.
jocko a chimpanzee.
jongleur a medieval wandering minstrel; troubadour; juggler.
joual a non-standard, chiefly urban variety of French.
jour a day, as in jour de FESTE.
julienne a kind of soup containing thin slices or shreds of carrots, onions, etc; (verb) to shred or cut into thin strips.
jumelle a paired or twinned article; opera-glasses.
kepi a legionnaire's cap.
kir a wine and blackcurrant drink. [From Kir, the Frenchman said to have invented it].
kyrielle a string of short lines in stanzas all ending with the same word.
laisse a tirade or string of verses on one rhyme.
laitance a milky deposit on top of fresh concrete.
lalique a type of ornamental glass.
lamantin the manatee.
lambrequin an ornamental hanging over upper part of window or along the edge of a shelf; a covering for a helmet.
lanciers a French dance. N.B. there is no singular LANCIER.
lande a heathy plain or sandy tract, esp. in S.W. France.
langouste the spiny lobster.
langue a language viewed as an abstract system used by a speech-community, in contrast to the actual linguistic behaviour of individuals.
languet languette a tongue-like appendage or outgrowth.
lansquenet a German foot soldier in foreign service in the 15th and 16th centuries; a soldier of fortune; -- a term used in France and Western Europe. Cf. LANDSKNECHT.
lapin rabbit; rabbit fur.
largess largesse a bestowal or distribution of gifts.
larmier a corona or other course serving as a drip-stone.
layette clothing, bedding, etc., for new-born child.
legionnaire a member of the French Foreign Legion.
legume the fruit or edible portion of any leguminous plant (bean, pea, etc.) grown for food.
leproserie a hospital for lepers. Also LEPROSERY.
lettre letter, as in e.g. lettre de cachet, a royal warrant.
liaison an intimate relation or connection; communication and co-operation.
libraire a bookseller.
librairie the book trade; a bookshop.
lierne in Gothic vaulting, any rib which does not spring from the impost and is not a ridge rib, but passes from one boss or intersection of the principal ribs to another.
lieu a place or stead, esp. in the phrase in lieu of.
ligne a measure of watch movement.
limacon a type of mathematical curve. [Fr. limacon, snail shell, spiral staircase].
lingerie underwear.
litterateur one who is devoted to the study or writing of literature.
livraison a part of a book or literary composition printed and delivered by itself; a number; a part.
livre an obsolete French coin, replaced by the franc.
locale the scene of some event etc.
loge a small enclosure or box in a theatre or opera house.
loir a large European species of dormouse.
longeron the longitudinal membrane of an airplane.
longueur a long and tedious section of a book, play, etc.
lorette a courtesan.
lorgnette a pair of spectacles or opera glasses on a handle. [Fr. lorgner (to have a furtive look), from MF lorgne (squinting).]
lorgnon an eyeglass.
loriot the golden oriole.
louche not reputable or decent. [Fr. louche, cross-eyed from L. luscus, blind in one eye].
louis a former gold coin of France.
loupe a jeweller's magnifying glass worn on the eye-socket.
loure an old slow dance in 6-4 time. [Fr. bagpipe].
lucarne a dormer window.
luminaire the British Standards Institute term for a light fitting.
lunette a crescent-shaped space where a vault meets a wall.
luxe luxury, as in de luxe.
lycee a French high school.
macaco any one of several species of lemurs, as the ruffed lemur (Lemur macaco), and the ring-tailed lemur (L. catta).
macedoine mixed diced vegetables; mixed fruit in syrup of jelly. [Fr. Macedoine, Macedonia, an area rich in ethnic variety].
macon smoked salted mutton.
madeleine a small, rich cake baked in a fluted, shell-shaped pan.
mademoiselle a French title of respect for an unmarried woman.
maderise maderize of white wine, to become rusty in colour and flat in taste as a result of absorbing too much oxygen during maturation.
magot the Barbary ape; a small grotesque figure in Chinese art.
maigre in the Roman Catholic church, not containing meat or its juices, thus permissible on days of abstinence; (of a day) on which abstinence is enjoined.
maillot tights worn by a ballet dancer.
maire a mayor.
maisonette maisonnette a part of a residential building which is occupied separately, usu. on more than one floor.
majoritaire a member of a majority section of a political party, esp. a socialist one.
mal pain, sickness.
maladroit clumsy, unskilful.
malaise uneasiness; indefinable feeling of illness or discomfort.
malapropos in an inappropriate or inopportune way.
malfeasant doing wrong.
maline a delicate net used for veils. [Fr. name of Mechelin in Belgium].
malinger to feign sickness in order to avoid duty or work. [Fr. malingre, sickly],
mamelon a rounded hill or protuberance. [Fr. mamelon, nipple].
mamselle miss.
manche a sleeve.
manege the managing of horses; (verb) to train a horse.
mangetout a type of pea cooked and eaten together with its pod; aka snow peas.
mangouste a mongoose.
manille in the card games OMBRE and QUADRILLE, the highest card but one.
manque short of or frustrated in the fulfillment of one's aspirations or talents (a poet manqué). [L. manco, having either hand crippled].
mansard a hipped curb roof; that is, a roof having on all sides two slopes, the lower one being steeper than the upper one. [From Francois Mansart, a French architect].
manteau a woman's cloak or mantle > MANTEAUS or MANTEAUX.
maquette a small model of something to be made on a larger scale.
maquillage make-up.
maquis a guerrilla resistance force.
marabou a large stork, which furnishes plumes worn as ornaments. [Fr. from Arabic murabit, hermit].
marabout a Moslem hermit or saint (N. Africa) or his tomb. [Fr. from Arabic murabit, hermit].
marc grapeskins and other refuse from wine-making.
marcel an artificial wave in hair; (verb) to style hair in this way.
mariniere (esp. of mussels) cooked in white wine with onions and herbs.
marionette a puppet moved by strings, as in a puppet show.
marmite a metal or earthenware pot without feet.
marmose a species of small opossum ranging from Mexico to Brazil. [Fr. apparently from marmouset].
marocain a ribbed crepe fabric.
marque a make or brand of something, esp. a motor vehicle.
marqueterie marquetry furniture inlaid with multicoloured wood, ivory, or metal.
marquise (the title of) a marchioness in Continental Europe or (formerly) Britain.
marron a large chestnut.
marseille a strong cotton fabric with a raised pattern, used for bedspreads etc.
martinet a strict disciplinarian; one who adheres to rules. [From J. Martinet, 17th-cent. French drill-master].
masse a vertical shot in billiards. The e has an accent.
masseur a male who makes a living by giving massage.
masseuse a female who makes a living by giving massage.
massicot masticot lead protoxide, obtained as a yellow amorphous powder, the fused and crystalline form of which is called LITHARGE. It is used as a pigment.
massif a large mountain-mass; a compact group of mountain heights.
mastic mastich mastiche mastix
matelasse matellasse (a jacquard fabric) having a raised pattern as if quilted.
matelot matlo matlow a seaman.
matelote matelotte a kind of rich fish stew.
materiel that in a complex system which constitutes the materials, or instruments employed, in distinction from the personnel, or men; as, the baggage, munitions, provisions, etc., of an army; or the buildings, libraries, and apparatus of a college.
matin mattin morning; a morning service.
matinee an afternoon performance at a theatre, cinema, or concert hall.
mauvais bad; wicked, as in mauvaise foi, 'bad faith'; mauvais quart d'heure, brief bad or embarrassing experience; mauvais sujet, 'bad or wicked subject' or person.
mayonnaise a thick sauce consisting of yolk of egg beaten up with oil and vinegar and seasoned with salt etc.
mazarinade (Hist.) a satire or pamphlet against Cardinal Mazarin.
medaillon a small round or oval serving, as of meat.
megasse refuse in sugar-making, the same as BAGASSE.
melange a mixture; a collection of heterogeneous items or elements, a medley.
melee mixture, confusion.
menage a household; a domestic arrangement; (verb) to manage.
menagerie a collection of wild animals.
mentonniere a piece of armour for the chin and throat.
menu a list of dishes available.
menuisier a joiner.
merde shit.
merlon a narrow wall in a battlement between embrasures.
merlot a light-bodied red wine.
merveilleuse a female MERVEILLEUX, a fashion extremist.
merveilleux a fashion extremist.
mesalliance a marriage with a person thought to be of inferior social position; an unsuitable union.
mesclun mesclum a mixed salad of young leaves and shoots, e.g. of rocket, chicory, fennel etc.
mesquin mean, sordid, shabby.
mesquine fem. of MESQUIN, mean.
mesquinerie the quality of being MESQUIN, mean.
metairie a piece of land cultivated under the system of METAYAGE.
metayage a system of farming on halves.
metayer one who cultivates land for a share (usually one half) of its yield, receiving stock, tools, and seed from the landlord.
metier one's occupation or department of activity. Now usu., a field in which one has special skill or ability; one's forte.
metif the offspring of a white and a quadroon.
metis the (male) offspring of a white person and an American Indian.
metisse the (female) offspring of a white person and an American Indian.
meuniere (of food, esp. fish) lightly coated in flour and fried in butter.
midinette a French, esp. a Parisian, shop-girl; esp. a milliner's assistant.
mien air, look.
mignon (noun) filet mignon.
mignonette a plant having greenish flowers with orange-colored stamens, and exhaling a delicious fragrance.
migraine a severe throbbing pain affecting only one half of the head or face.
milieu a social environment > MILIEUS or MILIEUX.
mille a thousand.
millefeuille a rich confection of thin layers of puff pastry and a filling of jam, cream, etc.
millefleur millefleurs having an all over pattern of small flowers and animals.
milliard a thousand million.
millieme a coin representing one thousandth of the basic unit of currency, as in Egypt.
milor a term of address for a rich or aristocratic Englishman.
minauderie coquetry.
minaudiere affected, coquettish.
minceur of food, lean, low-fat.
minette the smallest of regular sizes of portrait photographs.
minoritaire a member of a minority section of a political party, esp. a socialist one.
miquelet an irregular soldier; a partisan.
mirabelle a European species of plum tree.
mirepoix a French garnish, made of diced carrots, onions and celery. [From a French general whose cook is said to have created the dish].
mirliton a musical instrument resembling a kazoo; any instrument in which a sound is given a nasal quality by means of a vibrating membrane.
misere at cards, an undertaking to take no tricks. [Fr. = poverty, misery].
mistigris a variation of poker in which a joker or blank card can be given any value; the card so used > MISTIGRISES. [Fr. mistigri jack of clubs].
mistral a strong cold dry north-east wind that blows through the Rhone valley towards the Mediterranean.
mitraille shot or bits of iron used sometimes in loading cannon.
mitrailleur a machine-gunner.
mitrailleuse a machine-gun.
moderne pretentiously modern.
modiste a maker or seller of fashionable dresses and hats.
moellon a dark wax or grease obtained when fish-oils are rubbed into hides and recovered, used in the dressing of leather; a preparation containing this or synthesized in imitation of it; aka DEGRAS.
mofette moffette a volcanic opening in the earth emitting carbon dioxide.
moi me; facetiously used in English to indicate pretension.
moineau a small flat bastion to protect a fortress under construction > MOINEAUS.
moire watered silk. The e has an accent.
molinet a stick used to whip drinking chocolate in the 18th century. [Fr. moulinet, diminutive of moulin, mill].
mondain worldly; fashionable; (noun) a worldly (male) person.
mondaine worldly; fashionable; (noun) a worldly (female) person.
monde the world; a globe as an ensign of royalty.
mondial of the whole world, world-wide.
monocoque (denoting) an aircraft structure in which the outer skin carries all or most of the torsional and bending stresses; (denoting) a car structure in which the body is integral with and shares the stresses with the chassis.
monseigneur a French title of respect given to princes and prelates > MESSEIGNEURS.
montage (verb) to make a montage, to set in a montage.
montant a vertical member in panelling or framing; in fencing, an upward blow.
montgolfier a balloon using fire for propulsion. [From the Montgolfier brothers].
monticule a secondary volcanic cone.
montre the visible pipes of an organ, usu. the open diapason.
monture a mounting, setting or frame.
moquette a thick piled fabric used in upholstery and carpeting.
moraine a landform made largely of glacial till.
morceau a bit; a morsel > MORCEAUX.
morgue haughtiness; arrogance.
mornay a cream sauce with cheese flavouring. [Perh. f. Philip de Mornay (d. 1623), French Huguenot writer].
morne the blunt head of a jousting lance.
mortmain the state of being held inalienably by a corporation; (verb) to alienate into corporation's possession. [Fr. morte (feminine) dead + main, from L. manus, hand].
mot word.
motet motett a kind of unaccompanied part-song or anthem.
motif a distinctive idea.
mouchard a police spy.
mouchoir a handkerchief.
moue a pouting, disdainful look.
mouille of certain consonants, having a "liquid" or softened sound; e.g., in French, l or ll and gn (like the lli in million and ni in minion); in Italian, gl and gn; in Spanish, ll and n with tilde; in Portuguese, lh and nh.
moulage an impression made for use as evidence in a criminal investigation.
moulin a shaft in a glacier caused by water running down a crack. [Fr. moulin, mill].
moulinet a machine for bending a crossbow.
mournival a set of four, especially a set of four court cards in one hand. [Fr. mornifle, a slap, a taunt].
mourvedre a variety of red wine grape.
mousquetaire a French musketeer; a style of glove.
mousse jello with whipped cream; meat or fish with whipped cream; a hair-gel; (verb) to style hair with mousse.
mousseline a French dress fabric; a hollandaise sauce with whipped cream or egg whites added.
mouton a sheepskin processed to look like the fur of another animal.
moutonnee of a rock, rounded by the action of a glacier.
mouvemente full of movement, lively.
muscadet a dry white wine.
muscadin a Parisian fop or dandy; a middle-class moderate in the French Revolution.
muscardine a disease which is very destructive to silkworms, and which sometimes extends to other insects.
muscat a sweet white grape used for raisins and muscatel wine.
musette a small bagpipe formerly in use, having a soft and sweet tone.
musicale a musical evening.
mutuel a system of betting on races.
mystique the atmosphere of mystery and veneration investing some doctrines, arts, professions, or people.
nabis a group of late 19th-cent. French post-impressionists following the artistic theories of the French painter Paul Gauguin (1848—1903). N.B. there is no singular NABI.
nacarat a bright orange-red; a fabric so coloured.
nacelle a structure on the wing of an airplane containing the engine.
nagor a reedbuck of savannah in equatorial Africa, with short forward-curving horns.
naif (noun) a naive person > NAIFS.
naissance birth.
naissant of a charge, esp. an animal: issuing from the middle of a fess or other ordinary.
naivete naivety.
napoleon an obsolete French gold coin of twenty francs.
nappe a sheet of rock which has moved horizontally over neighbouring strata, as a result of overthrusting or recumbent folding. [Fr. nappe, tablecloth].
narquois mocking; malicious.
natron native hydrous sodium carbonate.
navarin a stew of mutton or lamb.
navette a pointed oval shape; a jewel cut in this shape.
necessaire a dressing-table; a workbox.
nee with maiden name.
neglige negligee a woman's light dressing-gown, esp. one of flimsy semi-transparent fabric trimmed with ruffles, lace, etc.
negociant a merchant esp. a wine merchant.
negritude nigritude the essential quality of the Negro genius.
neroli an oil distilled from orange flowers.
neve old compressed snow, aka FIRN.
niaiserie simplicity; foolishness.
ninon a lightweight dress fabric of silk, nylon, etc.
nobilesse noblesse nobility, nobleness.
nocturne a musical composition of a dreamy character; a painting of a night scene, a night-piece.
noir a type of crime fiction.
noisette a small thick round slice of boneless meat, especially lamb. [Fr. noisette, hazelnut].
nom name.
nombril the point on an escutcheon between the fess point and the base point. [Fr. nombril, navel].
nonpareil a thing of unequalled excellence; a paragon.
normande prepared with foods associated with Normandy.
nougat (a sweet made from) egg-white sweetened with sugar or honey and mixed with nuts and sometimes pieces of fruit.
nouveau new.
nouvelle a long short story.
noyade drowning, especially of many persons together as form of execution.
noyau a liqueur made from brandy flavoured with bitter almonds or peach-stones.
numeraire a standard for currency exchange rates.
objet object.
obole a mediaeval French coin.
octroi a duty levied on certain goods entering a town, esp. in some European countries.
octuor an octet.
oeuvre the sum of an artist's life work.
orangerie orangery a building for growing orange trees in a cool climate.
ordinaire table wine.
organdie a fine translucent cotton.
orgeat a syrup or drink made from almonds, sugar etc., formerly from barley.
orgue a row of stakes let down like a portcullis.
ormolu a gold-coloured alloy of copper, zinc, and tin used to decorate furniture, make ornaments. [Fr. or moulu: or, gold + obs. molu, pp. of moudre, to grind].
orseille a dye obtained from certain lichens; lichens yielding this. Also ORCHIL, ORCHEL, ORCHELLA, ARCHIL.
ortanique a cross between an orange and a tangerine.
ortolan a kind of bunting, common in Europe and eaten as a delicacy.
oubliette a dungeon with an opening only at the top.
oustiti wistiti a lock-opening tool. [Fr. oustiti, marmoset].
outrance the utmost extremity; the bitter end.
outre being out of the common course or limits; extravagant; bizarre.
outremer the region beyond the sea.
ouvert open.
ouverte (feminine) open.
ouvrage work.
ouvrier in France: a manual or industrial worker; a labourer.
ouvriere a (female) worker.
paduasoy corded silk; a garment of this. [Fr. peau-de-soie].
paillard a slice of meat pounded thin and grilled. [From Paillard, a 1th century French restaurateur].
paillasse palliasse a hard straw mattress.
paillette a piece of foil used in enamel painting; a spangle.
paillon a piece of foil, to show through enamel.
paladin a trusted military leader (as for a medieval prince), esp. each of the twelve bravest and most famous warriors of Charlemagne's court. [L. palatium, the emperor's palace located on the Palatine Hill].
palais a palace.
paletot a loose overcoat.
palette a little board, usually with a thumb-hole, on which a painter mixes colours. [Fr. from Ital. paletta, from pala spade, from Latin pala a spade].
palisander a JACARANDA or other ROSEWOOD.
palmette an ornament (in sculpture or painting) with radiating petals like a palm leaf.
panache dash or flamboyance in style; verve. [Originally referred to a showy, feathery plume on a hat or helmet, from L. pinnaculum].
panne a heavy lustrous silk or rayon with waxy feel.
pantalon pantalone a movement in a quadrille.
pantine a pasteboard jumping-jack, fashionable in the 18th century.
papeterie packaged fancy stationery; a stationery-case.
papillon a breed of toy spaniel with erect ears.
papillote a paper frill decorating the end of a cutlet or other bone.
parados an earthworks defending against a rear attack. [Fr. parados from L. parare, to prepare + dorsum, back].
parella parelle crustaceous lichen yielding ARCHIL.
parfait a dessert mousse or icecream pudding.
parfleche parflesh rawhide soaked in lye and water, then dried on a stretcher for shields.
parison a lump of glass before it is moulded into its final shape. [Fr. paraison, from parer, to prepare].
parquet a floor-covering of fitted wooden blocks; (verb) to cover a floor with parquet.
parterre a flower garden in which beds and paths form a pattern.
parti a group of people; a decision; a marriageable person considered as a match.
parure a set of ornaments or jewels. Also PARURA.
paspy passepied a Breton dance resembling a quick minuet.
pasquinade a lampoon posted in a public place; satire; (verb) to compose a PASQUINADE.
passade the motion of a horse to and fro over ground in dressage.
passe out of date, or nearly so. (The e has an accent).
passee (feminine) out of date, or nearly so. (The first e has an accent).
pastiche a medley, composed from different sources; imitative work.
pasticheur one who does PASTICHES.
pastis a French aniseed-flavoured aperitif.
pastourelle a medieval poem between a knight and a shepherdess.
patisserie a shop which sells fancy cakes etc.
patissier a maker or seller of fancy cakes.
patois a dialect (orig. in France) of the common people in a particular area, differing fundamentally from the literary language; any non-standard local dialect.
patronne a (female) client of a restaurant.
patte a narrow band keeping a belt or sash in its place.
paupiette a thinly sliced piece of meat used as a wrapper for various meat or forcemeat fillings.
pavillon the bell of a wind instrument. [Fr. pavillon, pavilion].
paysage (a representation of) a rural scene or landscape.
pebrine a destructive protozoan disease of silkworms.
peignoir a woman's dressing-gown.
pelage an animal's coat of hair or wool.
pelerine a woman's cape, usually short, with points in front.
pelisse a fur-lined or fur garment, esp. a military cloak.
penchant a leaning, an inclination.
pensee a thought.
pensionnat a boarding-school.
pequiste in Canada, a supporter of the Parti Quebecois.
percale a closely woven cotton used especially for sheets.
percaline a glossy lightweight cotton.
percheron a kind of dappled or black heavy carthorse.
perdu perdue lost to view; in concealment or ambush; close; (noun) one lying in ambush.
pere father.
perique a strong, black, Louisiana tobacco.
pernod an aniseed-flavoured aperitif from France.
perron a raised platform or terrace at an entrance door.
perruque a wig.
perruquier a wigmaker.
persico persicot a cordial made of the kernels of apricots, nectarines, etc., with refined spirit.
persienne an Eastern cambric or muslin with a coloured printed pattern; (pl.) Persian blinds, outside shutters of thin movable slats.
persiflage frivolous, bantering talk.
persifleur one who indulges in persiflage; a banterer; a quiz.
pesade the motion of a horse when, raising his fore quarters, he keeps his hind feet on the ground without advancing; rearing.
petanque a game of bowls in which steel bowls are rolled towards a wooden post.
petard a case containing an explosive to break down a door or gate or breach a wall; a loud firework.
petillant sparkling, used of wine.
petit petite small, esp. of build.
petrissage massage by longitudinal rubbing and lateral squeezing.
petroleur a rioter who uses petroleum, as in the Paris uprising of 1871.
petroleuse a female PETROLEUR, one who makes use of petroleum for incendiary purposes.
philosophe a philosopher.
piaffe to perform a PIAFFER, a movement in dressage.
piaffer a movement in dressage.
piastre piaster a North African monetary unit.
picaresque pertaining to rogues, especially applied to literature about rogues and vagabonds.
picayune a silver 5-cent coin struck by the U.S. mint from 1792-1873: a half dime; (fig.) something trivial: not worth a picayune.
picot one of series of small loops forming ornamental edging to ribbon, lace, etc; (verb) to ornament with PICOTS.
picote ornamented with PICOTS, small loops.
picotee a variety of carnation, with petal margins of different color.
pierrette a female performer in a PIERROT group.
pierrot a comic character in French pantomime, dressed in a floppy white suit.
pilotis a series of columns or piles, used to raise the base of a building above ground level > PILOTIS.
pinot a variety of grape.
piolet a mountain-climbing ice axe.
pirouette a twirling motion.
pise a species of wall made of stiff earth or clay rammed in between molds which are carried up as the wall rises. The e has an accent.
pissoir a public urinal on the streets of Paris.
piste a ski-trail.
pistolet a small pistol.
pistou a French sauce > PISTOUS.
piton a metal spike which is hammered into rock or ice and used to secure a rope through an eye at one end.
plafond a decorated ceiling.
plage a fashionable beach
plaquette a small plaque.
plastique plastic explosive.
platband a border of flowers in a garden, along a wall or a parterre; hence, a border.
plateau a flat highland > PLATEAUS or PLATEAUX.
pleiades a group of seven illustrious persons. [From the seven daughters of Atlas and the nymph Pleione, fabled to have been made by Jupiter a constellation in the sky].
plie a movement in ballet. (The e has an accent).
plisse of a fabric, chemically treated to produce a shirred or puckered effect; (noun) a puckered texture of cloth.
plumassier a worker in feathers; feather-seller.
pochette a pocket notecase or wallet.
pochoir a manual colour stencilling onto a printed illustration.
poilu (sl.) an infantry soldier in World War One.
pointe the extreme tip of the toe; the position of standing on it.
pointelle an openwork design, as in knitted fabric.
pointille ornamented with a pattern of dots made by a pointed tool; (noun) a fine point or subtle distinction > POINTILLES.
poisson a fish.
poitrine a woman's bosom.
politesse courteous formality, politeness.
politique in French history, a member of a moderate party between Huguenots and Catholics.
polonaise a stately Polish dance of moderate tempo.
pomander a ball of perfumes. [Fr. 'pomme de ambre'].
pompier (of art) conventional, traditional, uninspired.
ponceau a poppy-coloured red dye > PONCEAUS or PONCEAUX.
portiere a curtain hanging across a doorway.
portmanteau a travelling bag.
poseur one who poses, an affected person.
poseuse a female POSEUR.
positif a feature on older organs, manually controlling soft stops.
postiche postique artificial or spurious (thing); false (hair); (ornament) added, especially inappropriately, to finished thing.
potage pottage a thick soup or stew of vegetables and sometimes, meat.
potager a garden laid out in a decorative way.
potiche a round or polygonal jar, tapering at neck, with removable cover.
potin an old alloy of copper, zinc, lead and tin.
potpourri a mixture of dried petals.
poulard poularde a fattened or spayed hen.
poule a hen, esp. a chicken for boiling.
poulpe poulp the octopus.
pourboire a tip, gratuity.
pourparler a discussion prior to negotiation.
pourpoint a mediaeval quilted doublet.
poussette a movement, or part of a figure, in the contradance.
poussin a chicken raised for eating at around six weeks old.
practique practice.
praline prawlin a kind of chocolate. [From Marshal de Plessis-Praslin (1598—1675), French soldier, whose cook invented praline].
pratique permission granted to a ship to use a port after quarantine or on showing a clean bill of health.
precieuse a woman affecting a fastidious over-refinement.
precieux a man affecting a fastidious over-refinement.
precis a concise summary; (verb) to make a summary of.
premiere to present or perform (a play, film, etc.) for the first time.
priedieu a low desk with a book-space above and a foot-piece for kneeling in prayer > PRIEDIEUS or PRIEDIEUX.
primeur a new or early thing; spec. in pl., fruit or vegetables grown to be available very early in the season.
prochain prochein a next friend (short for prochain ami).
procureur a procurator.
profiterole a chocolate dessert.
projet a plan proposed; a draft of a proposed measure; a project.
prolonge a rope with a hook and a toggle, sometimes used to drag a gun carriage or to lash it to the limber, and for various other purposes.
promenade a walk for pleasure, display, or exercise; (verb) to take a promenade.
proneur a flatterer.
prosateur one who writes prose for a living.
protege one who is looked after or sponsored by another.
protegee one (female) who is looked after or sponsored by another.
provocateur one who provokes others to commit a crime.
prunelle a strong silk or woollen material, formerly used for academic and clerical gowns and women's shoes. Also PRUNELLA, PRUNELLO.
pucelle a maid or virgin, esp. (with capital) Joan of Arc. Also PUZEL, PUZZEL, PUSSEL.
pudeur a sense of shame.
putois a brush for painting pottery > PUTOIS.
quadrille a square dance for four couples; (verb) to dance the quadrille.
quai quay.
quartier a specified district in a French town or city.
quatorze the four aces, kings, queens, knaves or tens in pique, counting fourteen.
quatre a card, die, or domino, having four spots, or pips.
quelquechose something.
quenelle a poached meat dumpling.
quiche a flan of plain pastry filled with a cooked egg mixture.
quillon the arm of the cross-guard of a sword handle.
quintal a unit of weight equal to 100 kilograms.
quinze a card game.
rabat rabatte to rotate into coincidence with another plane.
raclette a dish made from melted cheese and potatoes.
racloir a scraper.
raconteur a teller of anecdotes.
raconteuse a female RACONTEUR.
rafale a burst of artillery in quick rounds. [Fr. rafale, squall].
ragout a stew; (verb) to make a ragout of.
raisonne arranged systematically, or according to classes or subjects; as, a catalogue raisonne.
raisonneur a person in a play or book embodying the author's viewpoint.
rale a rattling sound from a diseased lung.
rappee a pungent kind of snuff made from the darker and ranker kinds of tobacco leaves. [Fr. (tabac) rape, rasped].
rappel a call to arms by the beating of a drum; (verb) to descend by rope.
rapport a relationship, especially harmonious.
rapportage the description of real events in writing.
rapporteur a person whose task it is to carry out an investigation and draw up a report for a committee.
rapprochement a resumption of or improvement in relations between countries or persons.
rascasse a kind of fish found in the Mediterranean.
ratatouille a vegetable dish of aubergines, courgettes, tomatoes, onions, and peppers fried and stewed in oil.
ratine a rough dress material.
ravigote ravigotte vinegar sauce: minced onion, capers, and herbs.
reblochon a delicately-flavoured soft cheese, made chiefly in the Savoie region of France.
recamier a backless couch. [From Madame de Recamier].
rechauffe a reheated dish; a fresh concoction of old material.
recherche exquisite, choice; excessively refined, affected.
recit the narrative of a book as opp. to the dialogue; a book or passage consisting largely of this.
reclame the art or practice by which publicity is secured.
recollet a member of an order of Franciscan friars who cultivate detachment from the world.
redan a field fortification with two parapets meeting at an angle.
redingote a long plain double-breasted outside coat for women.
reduit a keep or stronghold into which a garrison may retire if the outworks are taken.
reflet an iridescent or metallic lustre.
regie a system of Government monopoly, esp. in tobacco.
regisseur a ballet director.
reinette a name given to many different kinds of apples, mostly of French origin.
relache a period of rest, an interval; a break from something.
releve a raising on to the toe in ballet (the final E has an acute accent).
religieuse a (female) person bound by monastic vows; a nun.
religieux a (male) person bound by monastic vows; a monk.
reliquaire reliquary a receptacle for relics.
remanie a fossil or other relic of an older rock preserved in a later deposit.
remarque a mark made in the margin of an engraving indicating a stage of development prior to completion.
remblai earth or materials made into a bank after having been excavated.
remolade remoulade a piquant sauce.
remontant (a plant) flowering more than once per season: 'a new series of bearded irises bred from the remontant Iris germanica'.
remuage the process of turning or shaking wine bottles so that the sediment collects at the cork end for removal.
remueur the person who carries out REMUAGE, the process of turning or shaking wine bottles so that the sediment collects at the cork end for removal.
rencontre a meeting, encounter, duel.
rendezvous an arranged meeting.
rente interest payable by government on indebtedness; the bonds, shares, stocks, etc., which represent government indebtedness.
rentier an owner of RENTES; one living on income from investments; one living on fixed income.
renversement an aeroplane manoeuvre consisting of a half- loop effected simultaneously with a half-turn.
renvoi a sending back by a government of an alien to his or her own country.
repechage a supplementary heat or competition giving elminated competitors the chance of competing again to reach the final.
repertoire a stock of dramatic parts, tunes, songs, etc., which a performer or company knows or is prepared to perform.
repetiteur a coach, tutor; one who rehearses opera singers.
repique at piquet, the winning of thirty points or more; (verb) to score a repique.
repousse shaped in relief by being beaten up from under or reverse side; such artistic work; (noun) repousse work, an article made from repousse.
repoussoir a figure or object in the foreground of a painted etc. composition intended to draw the viewer's eye in.
requin the man-eater, or white shark: so called on account of its causing requiems to be sung.
reseau a fine-meshed ground for lacework > RESEAUX, RESEAUS.
restauranteur one who frequents restaurants.
restaurateur the operator or proprietor of a restaurant.
retable a shelf or ornamental setting for panels behind an altar.
retroussage in etching, the action of drawing a fine cloth across an inked plate to draw out some ink and smear it irregularly across the plate.
retrousse turned up; -- said of a pug nose.
revanche revenge: esp a usually political policy designed to recover lost territory or status.
reveille a signal given in the morning, usu. on a drum or bugle, to waken soldiers and indicate that it is time to rise.
revenant one that returns after death or a long absence.
revendication the action of claiming back or recovering something by a formal claim.
reverie revery a dream-like state.
revers any part of a garment which is turned back.
revertant a mutant gene that regains a former capability.
reveur a (male) daydreamer
reveuse a (female) daydreamer.
revue a loosely constructed theatrical show.
ricochet the action of a projectile, esp. a bullet or shell, in rebounding at an angle off a surface or surfaces after being fired.
rigaudon rigadoon a lively Baroque period dance. [Fr. rigaudon].
rillettes a French type of potted meat made by simmering shreds of lean and fat pork, then pounding them to make a paste. N.B. there is no word RILLETTE.
rimaye a BERGSCHRUND, a crevasse formed where a glacier or snowfield moves away from a mountain wall.
ripost riposte in fencing, a return thrust after a parry.
risque (noun) risk.
rissole a deep-fat-fried, pastry-enclosed croquette filled with minced meat or fish.
rivage coast, shore.
riverain of a river or its neighbourhood; (noun) a riverside dweller.
riviere a necklace of precious stones.
rocaille artificial rockwork or similar ornament.
rocambole a plant closely related to garlic.
rococo a style of architecture marked by much ornamentation esp. scrollwork.
rognon an isolated rock outcrop on a glacier.
romaine a type of lettuce.
rondache a circular shield carried by foot soldiers.
rondeau a lyrical French poem having 10 or 13 lines, with two rhymes repeated throughout and with opening phrase repeated twice as a refrain > RONDEAUX.
rondel rondelle a small round tower erected at the foot of a bastion.
rondelet a short 5 or 7-line rondeau with one refrain per stanza.
rondure gracefully rounded curvature.
roquefort a kind of cheese.
roquette a kind of salad plant, rocket.
rosace a rosette; a rose-window.
rosbif an English person.
rotisserie a cooking apparatus incorporating a spit; (adj.) of, relating to, or being a sports league consisting of imaginary teams whose performance is based on the statistics of actual players.
rouche ruche a frill of lace or other material.
roue a debauched man; a lecher.
rouen a type of domestic duck.
rouge a red powder or cream used as a cosmetic to add colour to the lips or esp. the cheeks; (verb) to redden with rouge.
rouille a Provencal sauce. [Fr. rouille, rust].
roulade a melodic embellishment sung to one syllable; a meat roll.
rouleau a roll of coins, wrapped in paper > ROULEAUS or ROULEAUX.
roulette game of chance involving coloured balls; (verb) to make roulettes in.
rousseau fried pemmican > ROUSSEAUS, not ROUSSEAUX*.
roussette a kind of fruit-bat; a kind of dog-fish.
roux a thickening made of equal quantities of butter and flour mixed together > ROUX.
ruelle the space between the bed and the wall.
russe as in charlotte russe, a cold dessert made from whipped cream, custard etc, surrounded by sponge fingers.
sabayon a sauce of whipped egg yolks, sugar and wine.
sabir a French-based pidgin language.
sabot a wooden shoe; a clog; an attachment to guide a projectile through the bore of a firearm.
saboteur one who performs acts of sabotage.
sabotier a wearer of wooden shoes.
sabretache a satchel suspended from cavalry officer's belt.
sabreur a person, esp. a cavalry officer, who fights with a sabre.
saccade a brief rapid movement of the eye from one position of rest to another, whether voluntary or involuntary.
sainfoin saintfoin a leguminous plant, used as fodder.
salariat the salary-earning class collectively.
saligot the water chestnut.
salle a hall.
salmi salmis a ragout of roast game.
salpicon a French dish comprising game, fish, poultry, truffles etc. in sauce.
sangfroid self-possession or imperturbability especially under strain.
sanglier a wild boar.
sans without; deprived or destitute of.
sansculotte an extreme radical republican in France at the time of the Revolution; a radical or violent extremist in politics.
sansculotterie the SANSCULOTTES as a social group.
sarbacane a blowpipe for shooting animals etc.
sarrasin sarrazin buckwheat.
saucisse saucisson a long and slender pipe or bag, made of cloth well pitched, or of leather, filled with powder, and used to communicate fire to mines, caissons, bomb chests, etc.
saurel any of various elongated carangid fishes of the genus Trachurus, with bony plates along each side, esp. the scad and the jack mackerel.
saute fried lightly and quickly; (verb) to fry in this fashion.
sauterne a white wine made in the district of Sauterne, France.
sautoir sautoire a long necklace, or pendant on a long chain.
savant a learned person, esp. a distinguished scientist etc.
savante a woman of great learning.
savate a French form of kick-boxing.
scelerat a (male) villain.
scelerate a (female) villain.
scrimure a fencer.
scrutoire an ESCRITOIRE, a writing desk.
seance a session or meeting of psychical researchers or spiritualists for the purpose of trying to contact the spirits of the dead.
secateur a cutting tool used for gardening, usu. in pl. SECATEURS.
seconde in fencing, a position in parrying.
secretaire a writing desk.
seiche a rocking movement of the surface of a lake or inland sea.
seigneur seignior a lord, especially of manor.
semainier a chest of drawers.
semilune a work constructed beyond the main ditch of a fortress, and in front of the curtain between two bastions, intended to defend the curtain; a ravelin. Cf. DEMILUNE.
sepiostaire cuttlebone.
septleva (in the game of basset) seven times as much added to the first stake. [Fr. sept-et-le-va].
serac a large mass of ice broken off a glacier and remaining behind in a crevasse.
serail a SERAGLIO, a harem; a palace of a sultan.
serein fine tropical rain falling from cloudless night sky.
serin a bird of the finch family. [Fr. serin, canary].
serinette a small barrel-organ for training songbirds.
serrefile serafile a file of officers or men appointed to ride at the rear rank of a squadron.
serviette a table-napkin, esp. a paper one.
setenant in philately, two or more stamps joined together in an unsevered block of which at least one differs in design and value from the others.
shagreen a granular leather made from horse's or donkey's skin; the skin of shark, ray, etc, covered with small nodules. [Fr. chagrin, from Turkish sagri, horse's rump, shagreen].
sicilienne a kind of ribbed silk.
siecle a century, period or era.
sieur sir; -- a title of respect used by the French.
siffleur a (male) professional whistler.
siffleuse a (female) professional whistler.
silhouette a portrait obtained by tracing the outline of a profile, head, or figure, esp. by means of its shadow.
simpliste simplistic; naïve.
sirvente a (usu. satirical) poem or lay recited by a medieval troubadour.
sixain sixaine a stanza of six lines.
sixte a position in fencing.
sobriquet soubriquet a nickname. [Fr. sobriquet, from soubriquet (chuck under the chin). Probably from the fact that calling by a nickname affords one to cozy up to someone and tap under the chin.]
soigne (masculine) well cared for, well groomed.
soignee (feminine) well cared for, well groomed.
soiree an evening party.
solfege a singing exercise using the syllable do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti. Also SOLFEGGIO.
sommelier a butler; a wine steward.
sondage a trial bore or excavation; a sounding out of opinion.
sonde an instrument probe for transmitting information about its surroundings underground or under water.
sorgo sorgho Indian millet and its varieties.
sottisier a collection of jokes; quotes; ridiculous remarks.
sou a low-value French coin.
soubise a sauce made with onions or onion puree. [From the Prince de Soubise].
soubrette a coquettish and intriguing maid; such a role in drama.
souffle a light spongy dish made by mixing egg-yolks and other ingredients with stiffly beaten egg-whites, usu. baked in an oven until puffy.
soukous a form of Central African dance music. [Fr. secouer, to shake].
soupcon a suspicion, a trace.
sourdeline a small bagpipe.
soutache a narrow braid for trimming.
soutane a Roman Catholic priest's cassock.
souteneur a prostitute's pimp or bully.
souterrain an underground chamber; an earth-house.
sparterie articles made of esparto.
spirituel showing refined and witty grace and delicacy (masculine).
spirituelle showing refined and witty grace and delicacy (feminine).
sportif sporty; (noun) someone interested in sport > SPORTIFS.
stere a timber measure, a cubic metre (about 35.315 cubic feet).
strapontin a folding seat in a theatre.
suave polite, sophisticated and smoothly affable, esp. superficially so > SUAVER, SUAVEST.
succes success.
sucrier a table vessel for sugar.
suete a south-east wind in areas of Cape Breton Island.
suite a train of attendants.
suivante a waiting woman or confidential maid.
suivez follow (the solo part, as a direction to accompanists).
supercherie deception; hoax; fraud.
sur on, above.
surtout a man's coat to be worn over his other garments; an overcoat, especially when long, and fitting closely like a body coat.
surveillance a watch kept over someone or something, esp. over a criminal.
suzerain an overlord.
svelte slender.
sympathique attractive.
tablanette a variant of the card game CASSINO.
tableau a picture or vivid pictorial impression > TABLEAUS or TABLEAUX.
tablier an apron; a part of dress resembling an apron.
tachism tachisme painting by smearing or splattering.
tachist tachiste one who paints by smearing and splattering. [Fr. tache, blob (of paint)].
taille a tally; an account scored on a piece of wood.
tailleur a woman's tailored suit.
tamarin a genus of small S. American monkeys. [Fr. from Carib].
tamin tamine a thin worsted stuff, highly glazed.
tamis a strainer; a glazed woollen or mixed fabric.
tampion tompion a protective plug placed in the mouth of a gun or cannon.
tampon tompon a plug in a wound to staunch flow of blood; (verb) to plug with a tampon.
tapenade a paste made of olives, anchovies and capers.
tapis a tapestry; formerly, the cover of a council table.
tapotement the use of light taps in massage.
tarlatan tarletan a thin, stiffly-starched, open-weave muslin.
tarsier a kind of lemur native to Madagascar.
tartane a small, single-masted Mediterranean ship with a lateen sail.
tartare a mayonnaise dressing.
tartine a slice of bread and butter with jam.
tartufe tartuffe a hypocrite, esp. one who affects religious piety.
tastevin a small shallow cup used for tasting wine.
tatou tatu an armadillo, esp. the giant armadillo.
taupe a brownish gray, similar to the color of moleskin. [Fr. taupe, mole].
teleferique telepherique a cableway.
tenail tenaille an outwork in a main fortification ditch.
tenaillon an outwork to strengthen the side of a small ravelin.
tendre tendresse a tender feeling, a fondness.
tendron a tendril.
tendu a position in ballet > TENDUS.
tenne tenny in heraldry, an orange-brown colour.
tenson tenzon a competition in verse between two troubadours. [Fr. from L. tensio, a struggle].
tenue bearing, carriage, dress.
terrasse a paved area outside a French cafe .
terreplein a horizontal platform behind a parapet where heavy guns are mounted.
terrine an earthenware jar or dish.
terroir the combination of factors, such as soil and climate, that gives a wine its character.
tete an elaborately dressed head of hair; a headdress.
thermidor the eleventh month of the French republican calendar, -- commencing July 19, and ending August 17.
tige the shaft of a column. [Fr. tige, stalk].
timbale a dish of meat, fish etc. cooked in a cup-shaped mould or shell; a mould of pastry.
tirailleur a skirmisher; a sharpshooter.
tirasse a pedal-coupler in an organ.
toilette the action or process of washing, dressing, arranging the hair, etc.
toise an old measure of length in France, containing six French feet.
toison fleece.
tonneau the rear extension of body of car > TONNEAUX or TONNEAUS.
toque toquet a kind of cap worn in the 16th century, and copied in modern fashions.
torchere a tall ornamental candlestick or lampstand.
torchier torchiere a floor lamp with bowl for reflecting light upwards.
torchon a duster or dishcloth; coarse lace or paper.
tordion turdion a Renaissance dance similar to but slower than a GALLIARD.
touche a call acknowledging a hit in fencing.
toupee toupet little tuft; a curl or artificial lock of hair.
tourbillion tourbillon a whirlwind; any whirling object.
tourmaline a brittle boron aluminosilicate mineral with a glassy lustre, occurring as prismatic crystals of the trigonal system. [French, from Sinhalese tòramalli, carnelian].
tournedos a thick round beef fillet.
tourniquet a device to stop bleeding, as a bandage twisted tight by a stick, etc.
tournure contour; characteristic turn of line; grace or poise.
tracasserie a state of disturbance or annoyance; a turmoil, bother, fuss; an embroilment, a petty quarrel, a tempest in a teapot (chiefly in pl.).
traceur a participant in PARKOUR, the sport of running in urban areas performing gymnastics on manmade objects.
tragedienne a female tragic actor.
trahison treachery; treason.
tranche a slice or block of money or shares.
tranchet a chisel-shaped flint implement of some mesolithic and neolithic cultures.
transmanche relating to the tunnel under the English Channel.
treillage trellis-work; a trellis.
treille a trellis.
tremie a hopper-like device for laying concrete underwater.
trenise the fourth movement of a quadrille.
tres very.
triage a system of giving battlefield treatment to those who will survive only with help; (verb) to practise triage.
tribade a female homosexual; a lesbian.
tricot a plain knitted silk or woollen fabric.
tricoteuse in the French Revolution, a woman who attended executions and knitted.
triptyque an international pass for a motor-car.
triste sad, melancholy.
tristesse sadness, melancholy.
trois three.
trompe a device in which water falls through a perforated pipe. As it falls, air comes through those holes, is sucked into the water and is thus entrained throughout the water. [Fr. trompe, trumpet].
tronc a collection of tips to be divided out among waiters.
trop too much.
trottoir pavement.
troubadour any of a class of poet-musicians flourishing especially in southern France and northern Italy during the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries.
troupe a company or troop, especially the company of performers in a play or an opera; (verb) to travel about as a member of a troupe.
trousseau clothes collected by a bride for her marriage > TROUSSEAUS or TROUSSEAUX.
trouvaille a fortunate find.
trouvere trouveur one of a school of poets who flourished in Northern France from the eleventh to the fourteenth century.
trucage truquage the faking of works of art.
trumeau a piece of wall or pillar between two openings > TRUMEAUX.
truqueur one who engages in TRUCAGE, the faking of works of art.
tuile a think cookie made with almonds.
tuille armour plate hanging below the tasses.
tuillette a small TUILLE, a piece of armour plate hanging below the tasses.
tulle a sheer and delicate thin silk. [From Tulle in France].
tuque a knitted, cylindrical woollen cap with tapered ends that is worn with one end tucked into the other.
turion an underground bud, growing up into a new stem. [L. turio].
tutoyer to address familiarly.
tuyere a nozzle, mouthpiece, or fixture through which the blast is delivered to the interior of a blast furnace, or to the fire of a forge. Also TWEER, TUYER, TWIER, TWIRE, TWYERE.
umbriere umbrere the visor of a helmet.
urson the Canada porcupine. [Fr. ourson, dim. of ours, bear].
vacherin a kind of cake, layered with Chantilly cream.
vareuse a kind of loose jacket.
varsovienne a polka-like Polish dance.
vaurien a good-for-nothing.
vedette vidette a mounted sentry stationed to watch for enemy.
veilleuse a small, highly-decorated nightlight.
velours velour velure a woollen stuff with velvet-like pile.
veloute a kind of sauce prepared from a white stock of chicken etc. [Fr. veloute, velvety].
venator a huntsman; a hunter. [L. venari, to hunt].
vendeuse a saleswoman.
verdoy in heraldry, charged with flowers, leaves. [Fr. verdoyé pp. of verdoyer, to make green].
verglas a film of ice on rock. [Fr. verre, glass, + glace, ice].
verite reality, truth, as in CINEMA VERITE.
verlan a variety of French slang using back-to-front words and Arab words.
vermoulu worm-eaten.
vernier a short sliding scale indicating fractions of a graduation; an additional control for obtaining fine adjustments. [From Pierre Vernier (1580—1637), French mathematician.]
vernissage a private showing or preview of an art collection.
veronique served with white grapes e.g. sole veronique.
vers verse.
vertu vertue virtue; power.
vervet a small, long-tailed African monkey.
vicereine the wife of a viceroy.
vichyssois of the Vichyite government.
vichyssoise a soup made with potatoes, leeks, and cream, and usu. served cold.
vicomte in France, a noble equal in rank to a viscount.
vicomtesse a female VICOMTE.
victorine a woman's fur tippet.
vielle a French name for the Hurdy Gurdy, a mechanical development of the violin (also once known as a Vielle) with the strings vibrated by a wheel, and keys stopping the strings.
vigneron a vine-grower.
vignette a small, ornamental illustration without frame or with background shaded off; slight portrait or character sketch; (verb) to make a vignette of.
villanelle a poem consisting of five tercets and a quatrain.
vin wine.
vinaigrette a salad dressing of oil and wine vinegar with seasoning.
vinasse the waste liquor remaining in the process of making beet sugar, -- used in the manufacture of potassium carbonate.
virelai virelay an old French lyric form in two-rhymed stanzas of short lines.
virement in accounting, an authorised transfer of a surplus to balance a deficit under another heading.
virgule a diagonal mark (/) used especially to separate alternatives, as in and/or, to represent the word per, as in miles/hour, and to indicate the ends of verse lines printed continuously, as in 'Old King Cole/Was a merry old soul'.
virtu a love of the fine arts; a taste for the curious.
visite a light cape or short cloak of silk or lace worn by women in summer.
vison the American mink.
vite quickly.
vitesse speed.
vitrage a thin curtain for windows or glazed doors.
vivandier a (male) attendant on a regiment, who sells provisions.
vivandiere a (female) attendant on a regiment, who sells provisions.
vivres vivers food; eatables.
voila there it is.
voile a thin semi-transparent material.
voiture a carriage.
volage flighty, fickle.
voltigeur a lightly armed skirmisher.
voulu willed, deliberate, contrived.
voussoir one of the wedge-shaped pieces forming an arch or vault.
vouvray a French white wine.
voyageur a traveller; -- applied in Canada to a man employed by the fur companies in transporting goods by the rivers and across the land, to and from the remote stations in the Northwest.
voyeur one who derives sexual gratification from watching others.
zouave one of an active and hardy body of soldiers in the French service, originally Arabs, but now composed of Frenchmen who wear the Arab dress.