MBA Verbal Ability: 50 Words from French language used in English

Preparing for the MBA Verbal Ability Section to appear in various MBA entrance exams? To enrich your vocabulary, learn 50 Words from French language that are commonly used in MBA verbal ability section.
Nidhi Gupta
MBA Verbal Ability 50 French words

The 2019 MBA exam season is about to begin soon and all the top B-Schools have opened their registration dates for the MBA aspirants. And before it gets chaotic for you to manage your exam preparation while simultaneously applying for various MBA entrance exam, make the most of this time and read through this short list of 50 commonly used French words in English language. These words are important for you to remember as they are commonly seen in the Reading Comprehensions, Vocabulary exercises and alike topics. Reading the list of these words would not let your preparation for the Verbal ability section take a back seat.

Why Vocab words from French language?

It is fact that in English language many vocabulary words have been adopted from the origin of other languages. According to a source, approximately 30% of all English words have a French origin. It was also found in a research study that Latin words were adopted in the English language through French people during the Middle Ages. French was simply the everyday language while Latin was the scholarly language. As an MBA aspirant it is important for you to study and understand the relevance of these words as they test your aptitude in the MBA entrance exams. A study, published in 1973 revealed the breakdown of sources from where English language has been borrowed: Latin, 28.34 percent; French, 28.3 percent; Old and Middle English, Old Norse, and Dutch, 25 percent; Greek 5.32 percent; no etymology given, 4.03 percent; derived from proper names, 3.28 percent; all other languages, less than 1 percent.

So here is the list of commonly used 50 French words used in English language:

50 Words from the French language used in English

1. Adieu: Farewell

2. Adroit: Dexterous

3. à la carte – on the menu; in restaurants it refers to ordering individual dishes rather than a fixed-price meal

4. Blasé: Unimpressed with something because of over familiarity

5. Bon vivant: One who enjoys the good life, an epicurean

6. Bon voyage: Have a good trip!

7. Bouquet: A handful of flowers

8. Bureau: Office. Also means “desk” in French

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9. Café: Coffee shop

10. Carte blanche: Unlimited authority

11. Charlatan: A person who is a fraud, a deceiver, a con artist.

12. Chauffeur: Driver

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13. Cliché: Trite through overuse; a stereotype

14. Cortège: A funeral procession

15. Crèche: a place where children are left by their parents for short periods in the supervision of childminders

16. Déjà vu: An impression or illusion of having seen or experienced something before.

17. Détente: Easing of diplomatic tension

18. Dossier: A file containing detailed information about a person; it has a much wider meaning in modern French, as any type of file, or even a computer directory

19. Eau de Cologne: A type of perfume, originating in Cologne, Germany; its Italian creator used a French name to commercialize it, Cologne at that time being under the control of France.

20. Éclair: A cream and chocolate icing pastry

21. En route: On the way

22. Entrepreneur: A person who undertakes and operates a new enterprise or venture and assumes some accountability for the inherent risks

23. Façade: The front view of an edifice; a fake persona

24. Faux pas: False step, violation of accepted

25. Grand Prix: A type of motor racing, literally “Great Prize”

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26. Grenadier: A specialized soldier, first established for the throwing of grenades and later as elite troops

27. Haute Couture: “High sewing”, Paris-based custom-fitted clothing; trend-setting fashion

28. Impasse: Deadlock

29. Joie de vivre: Joy of life/living

30. Laissez-faire: “Let do”; often used within the context of economic policy or political philosophy, meaning leaving alone, or non-interference

31. Liaison: A close relationship or connection; an affair. The French meaning is broader; “liaison”

32. Mademoiselle: Young unmarried lady, literally “my noble young lady”

33. Mélange: A mixture

34. Milieu: Social environment; setting (has also the meaning of “middle” in French)

35. Nouveau riche: Newly rich, used in English to refer particularly to those living a garish lifestyle with their newfound wealth

36. Nouvelle cuisine: New cuisine

37. Omelette: Beaten eggs or an egg mixture cooked until just set; may be folded around e.g. ham or cheese or jelly

38. Protégé: A man/woman who receives support from an influential mentor

39. Raison d’être: “Reason for being”, justification or purpose of existence

40. Reservoir: An artificial lake

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41. Riposte: A quick retort in speech or action, or in fencing, a quick thrust after parrying a lunge

42. Renaissance: Rebirth, a cultural movement in the 14-17th centuries

43. Sang-froid: “Cold blood”: coolness and composure under strain; stiff upper lip

44. Silhouette: Image of a person, an object or scene consisting of the outline and a featureless interior, with the silhouetted object usually being black

45. Sauté: Literally jumped; quickly fry in a small amount of oil

46. Tableau: Chalkboard; the meaning is broader in French

47. Tête-à-tête: “Head to head”; an intimate get-together or private conversation between two people

48. Vis-à-vis: Face to face, in comparison with or in relation to; opposed to. 

49. Viola: Literally “see there”; in French it can mean simply “there it is”

50. Voyeur: Someone who sees; a peeping tom

We hope that the list of 50 Words from the French language used in English language will enrich your vocabulary further. It will also aid you in understanding the comprehension passages carrying words of French origin easily. Share this list with your friends to help them enrich their Vocabulary for the MBA Entrance exams!

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