Definition of mot juste in English:

mot juste


  • The exact, appropriate word.

    ‘that's the mot juste, I think’
    • ‘I have ransacked my thesaurus for a word that does justice to the terrible events that made up what history will know for ever as The Battle of Old Trafford, and I have come up with the mot juste.’
    • ‘Ridenour tipped his head back slightly, like a wine connoisseur searching for the mot juste.’
    • ‘I explained, sternly, that this was not a word we called one another - all the while thinking what a hypocrite I was, since it was a perfectly useful word, and the world is full of idiots; why not give her le mot juste?’
    • ‘He is keen to emphasize that there was nothing neurotic or unhealthy in the French writer's search for the mot juste.’
    • ‘If any historian has taken to heart Gustave Flaubert's mandate to find le mot juste in his descriptive efforts, it is the babyfaced, articulate Burns.’
    • ‘We fumed and fussed; we argued about the best reference to illustrate a point and about le mot juste to describe the significance of our proposed work.’
    • ‘It gives one pause for thought that Harold Wilson settled for his book being titled ‘The Governance of Britain’, simply because he could not think of le mot juste.’
    • ‘He's the kind of guy who always has the mot juste on the tip of his tongue and the wit to know when to say it, and when not to.’
    • ‘I think there are many instances where a ‘crude’ word or phrase is the mot juste.’
    • ‘But according to the many people who rang and wrote in, these were very far from the mots justes.’
    • ‘But all this striving for the mot juste only made it harder for me to write continuous prose.’
    • ‘But the final two lines deliver a mot juste that is as richly compelling as it is disturbing.’
    • ‘I've admired Bill, but never until today have I suspected him of writing with the poetic depth of the mature Joyce, and while that is a bit hyperbolic, he does grab the mot juste by the throat at times.’
    • ‘He ran an amiable trade in insights and mots justes, which he would oblige you to exchange, whether you were up to it or not.’
    • ‘But if they actually were implicated in the one morally appalling drama of having attempted to wipe out an entire people, ‘sorry’ isn't quite the mot juste.’
    • ‘I am frankly astonished nobody has thrown those mots justes my way before now.’
    • ‘He failed to see that, although he and the French writer were both seeking le mot juste, their aims were completely different.’
    • ‘The mot juste for me was often a very descriptive word which often forced me to turn to a part of the language that was a bit high octane.’
    • ‘‘Having been at sea for many weeks, the participants,’ he says, searching for the mot juste, ‘had a look of lust in their eyes.’’
    • ‘And surely there will be a special hockey moment that some announcer will capture with les mots justes.’




mot juste

/məʊ ˈʒuːst//French mo ʒyst/