List of Foreign Words Used in English

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Foreign Words Used in English

Word Meaning
ad hoc for this special purpose
ad infinitum to infinity
ad nauseam tiresome to the point of disgust
agent provocateur one who tempts a suspect to commit a crime so they may be caught
al dente cooked so as to be firm when eaten
alfresco in the open air
au fait fully informed; an expert
au naturel naked; uncooked or cooked simply
bête noire an object of particular dislike; pet aversion
blitzkrieg lightening war
bona fide in good faith
brasserie informal or inexpensive restaurant
carpe diem enjoy/ make the most of the present day
carte blanche full discretionary powers
cause célèbre famous lawsuit or controversy
caveat emptor let the buyer beware
chef-d'œuvre masterpiece
compos mentis sane
coup de grâce a finishing blow
coup d'état a sudden decisive political move; violent seizure of power
de facto actually, in fact
déjà vu sense of having previously experienced the current situation
dolce vita a life of pleasure and luxury
doppelgänger an apparition or double of a living person
double entendre double meaning
enfant terrible one whose behaviour is controversial
en masse in a body; altogether
ex gratia payment given as a favour as opposed to a legal obligation
ex officio by virtue of one's office/ position
fait accompli a thing done that cannot be undone
faux pas false step, an indiscretion
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Word Meaning
femme fatale seductive woman
force majeure superior strength
haute couture high fashion
haute cuisine high-class cooking
in absentia while not present
in camera in a judge's private room
in situ in its original position
inter alia among other things
je ne sais quoi hard to describe; I do not know what
joie de vivre joy of living
laissez-faire policy of non-intervention or inaction
mea culpa acknowledging fault; by my fault
modus operandi manner of working
non sequitur it does not follow logically from the previous statement
nouveau riche one newly enriched, an upstart
par excellence pre-eminently
per annum for each year
per capita for each person
per se by or in itself 
persona non grata unacceptable or unwelcome person
pièce de résistance the most important/ impressive item 
prima facie at first view
pro rata proportionally
quid pro quo a favour given in return for something 
raison d’être  the most important reason for someone's existence 
sine die without date, indefinitely
sub judice being considered by a court and not to be discussed elsewhere
table d’hôte general guest table; fixed-price meal
terra firma solid earth
tête-à-tête a private conversation
vis-à-vis in relation to; as compared with
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