There are 2 main definitions of French in English:

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French 1

Syllabification: French
Pronunciation: /fren(t)SH/


Of or relating to France or its people or language.
Example sentences
  • There are no subtitles in any language nor even French subtitles for the deaf or hard of hearing.
  • For every one bottle of Cognac sold in France, French drinkers buy 10 bottles of whisky.
  • France and especially French girls held a special place in the imaginations of most British boys.


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1The Romance language of France, also used in parts of Belgium, Switzerland, and Canada, in several countries of northern and western Africa and the Caribbean, and elsewhere.
Example sentences
  • Many speak excellent English, but some will speak French as a first language.
  • Morocco used to be colonised by France which explains why French is still spoken as a second language.
  • Do you expect me to believe that in a place other than France people speak French?
2British short for French vermouth.
3 (as plural noun the French) The people of France collectively.
Example sentences
  • But the Finns, like the French and Greeks and Irish and the rest of them are quite happy with the euro.
  • The single red flower is also used in hibiscus syrups, popularised by the French.
  • Consider the effect of those two quotes on the the British, the Americans and the French.

French is the first or official language of over 200 million people and is widely used as a second language. It is a Romance language that developed from the Latin spoken in Gaul, the northern dialects becoming dominant after Paris became the capital in the 10th century. French became widely used owing to the cultural influence and colonial expansion of France from the 11th century, and it had a very great influence on English as the language of the Norman ruling class


(if you'll) excuse (or pardon) my French
informal Used to apologize for swearing.
Example sentences
  • Someone brought a guitar, too, and when I saw that, that's when I got the heck out of there, if you'll pardon my French.
  • And, pardon my French, you'll rest your tired keister at night in some of the Alps' most inviting resorts and inns.
  • You see, I don't know who sent these yet, because the chicken S.O.B., pardon my French, didn't have the guts to sign his name.


Example sentences
  • For dessert, Hanoi's lingering Frenchness makes a comeback: on offer is a featherweight warm apple tart and delectable creme caramel.
  • The southwest has resisted rapid modernisation: it remains essentially a rural area and is marked, above all, by its intense Frenchness.
  • Arguably the Frenchness of France depends in large measure not on isolation, but on an insistent personal identity in the greater culture of a continent.


Old English Frencisc, of Germanic origin, from the base of Frank.

  • French and France come from the Franks who invaded the area in the 6th century ( see emancipate). For centuries the French and English were enemies, which has influenced the way French is used in English. Unceremonious guests have taken French leave since the 18th century. The expression is said to come from the French custom of leaving a dinner or ball without saying goodbye to their host or hostess. It is first recorded just after the Seven Years War ( 1756–63), when France and Britain were struggling for supremacy overseas. It is perhaps not entirely surprising to find that the French themselves take a different view: the equivalent French expression is filer à l'Anglaise ‘to escape in the style of the English’. The British also regard the French as rather naughty, as the terms French kiss, French knickers, and French letter (for a condom) indicate. This idea is far from new, as the following phrase from Tom Jones ( 1749) by Henry Fielding indicates: ‘I would wish to draw a Curtain over…certain French novels.’

Words that rhyme with French

backbench, bench, blench, clench, Dench, drench, entrench, frontbench, quench, stench, tench, trench, wench, wrench
Definition of French in:
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There are 2 main definitions of French in English:

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French 75 2

Entry from British & World English dictionary

(also French seventy-five)


1A piece of field artillery with a calibre of 75 mm, particularly associated with the French army.
2A cocktail containing champagne, gin, and lemon juice.


Early 20th cent.; earliest use found in The Outlook.

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