Definition of French in English:

French

adjective

  • Relating to France or its people or language.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Somewhat chastened, I resume the journey trying to recall some French swear words.’
    • ‘It's not now speaking about the French story, but the British story and our British friends.’
    • ‘When the leader lauds French hospitals and Swedish schools, they applaud on cue.’
    • ‘Piccinni directed an Italian troupe in Paris and wrote two French comedies.’
    • ‘But why would a French girl feel so drawn to German literature in the first place?’
    • ‘These high quality videos were produced with French actors on location in France so the speech and movements and contexts are authentic.’
    • ‘The French didn't speak English and the English didn't even know the French word for pigeon.’
    • ‘She appears undaunted at the prospect of facing the French media in their own language.’
    • ‘Nantes, the capital, is consistently voted the best place to live in France by the French media.’
    • ‘The most worrying thing is when I think of a French word before the English one, but that's quite rare.’
    • ‘The French ambassador wrote that Rogers died with such composure that it might have been a wedding.’
    • ‘The following answers are as translated from the French account of what she said.’
    • ‘He wrote that a French judge was ready to launch an investigation into the slaying.’
    • ‘The zoom allows you to spot a very large carp just above the bottom in a deep French reservoir of central France.’
    • ‘There are no subtitles in any language nor even French subtitles for the deaf or hard of hearing.’
    • ‘Sembene himself was the son of a fisherman and self-educated into French literacy.’
    • ‘He was more likely to be a close reader of one of the several French translations of Ovid which were available to him.’
    • ‘He entered the US on a one-year student visa and Ms Keene said he spoke with a heavy French accent.’

noun

  • 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.

    • ‘Many speak excellent English, but some will speak French as a first language.’
    • ‘The French actors spoke French, the Italian actors spoke Italian and the boys spoke English.’
    • ‘It was very exciting to eat French food, hear French being spoken and see the displays in the shops.’
    • ‘His parents sent him to a Dutch language class even though he speaks French at home.’
    • ‘She speaks fluent French and it is no surprise she was chosen for this particular wedding.’
    • ‘Almost every one here speaks French, some do speak English, and a lot of the time you can find some one that speaks both.’
    • ‘Oscar can speak fluent French, orders fancy food properly, and has a passion for Voltaire.’
    • ‘The seating plan was drawn up using French, the traditional language of diplomacy.’
    • ‘Do you expect me to believe that in a place other than France people speak French?’
    • ‘The six islands are named in Arabic, in the local Afar language, and in French.’
    • ‘He'd worked in France and Italy, he speaks fluent French and he wanted an excuse to live and work in France again.’
    • ‘In any case, remember that you won't have to write or speak in French on either of these tests.’
    • ‘As well as Gaelic, Scots and English, he wrote poems in French, Italian and Norwegian.’
    • ‘Morocco used to be colonised by France which explains why French is still spoken as a second language.’
    • ‘He had a particular skill in languages, speaking French, Latin, Greek and even Hebrew.’
    • ‘None of the inhabitants spoke French as a native tongue, and few understood it.’
    • ‘The landlord speaks fluent French and right next door is a Breton seafood restaurant.’
    • ‘I have noted elsewhere some examples of translations from French, Spanish and Italian.’
    • ‘The word in French means sand, so it also refers to the cake's sandy-looking texture.’
    • ‘Huddled in a corner, the language was alternating between French, German and English.’
  • 2as plural noun the FrenchThe people of France collectively.

    • ‘The single red flower is also used in hibiscus syrups, popularised by the French.’
    • ‘It would be easy to give credit to the French for designing such a beautiful car.’
    • ‘He spent a spell in the summer of 1830 in France studying the teaching methods used by the French.’
    • ‘The Portuguese rival the French and Italians in terms of per capita wine consumption.’
    • ‘There was certainly no trouble around the ground and the England fans were mingling with the French.’
    • ‘Persuading the French to accept a downgrading of agriculture will involve high political skills.’
    • ‘Retired York history professor Norman Hampson first fell in love with the French during the war.’
    • ‘Overall, the French export more per capita than the Japanese and more than twice as much as the Americans.’
    • ‘Put another way, the French and Germans have found a way of making the market serve everyone.’
    • ‘Consider the effect of those two quotes on the the British, the Americans and the French.’
    • ‘Of all the saints venerated by the French in the nineteenth century, Mary was the most prominent.’
    • ‘But the Finns, like the French and Greeks and Irish and the rest of them are quite happy with the euro.’
    • ‘Even the Americans are less productive than the French for each hour worked.’
    • ‘To start with, the French erected monuments to their heroes lost in the struggle for Liberty in the city of Rome.’
    • ‘Almost from the time of European contact it was disputed by the British and the French.’
    • ‘For it was the French, rather than the British, who took the lead in organising sport as a global phenomenon.’
    • ‘This city was under the French for a long time and the influence still hasn't worn off.’
    • ‘Indeed in the final analysis the British gained more than the French from the upheavals in Italy.’
    • ‘The event itself is clearly global in its intent but it stubbornly remains the cultural property of the French.’
    • ‘But Pierce has finally delivered on all her promise and that should be enough even for the French.’
  • 3

    short for French vermouth

Phrases

  • (if you'll) excuse (or pardon) my French

    • informal Used to apologize for swearing.

      • ‘So clearly the notion that it doesn't work is, if you'll pardon my French, a bunch of hooey.’
      • ‘The fact that the bill is bloody nonsense - excuse my French - should have no impact at all; we should just forget about it!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And, pardon my French, you'll rest your tired keister at night in some of the Alps' most inviting resorts and inns.’
      • ‘They wouldn't know an ulterior motive if it bit them on the rear end if you'll pardon my French.’
      • ‘But pardon my French; Aidan was truly being a jackass in the ballroom.’
      • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

French

/fren(t)SH//frɛn(t)ʃ/