Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

tutoyer

play
transitive verb tu·toy·er \tue-twä-ˈyā\

Definition of tutoyer

  1. :  to address familiarly



Did You Know?

In conversational French, the pronoun "vous" ("you") is used for formal address of individuals (as well as plural addressees familiar or otherwise), while the singular pronoun "tu" (also "you," a relative of Middle English "thou") is reserved for use among intimate friends. A person who uses "tu" to address his or her elders, for example, is committing a breach of etiquette. The French verb tutoyer - literally, "to address with the pronoun 'tu'" - was borrowed into English in the late 17th century to refer to this concept. In many cases, the English verb is still used in reference to people speaking French (as English does not discriminate between intimate and formal address in its pronouns), but it is occasionally used to describe casual address among close English speakers.

Origin of tutoyer

French, to address with the familiar pronoun tu thou, from Middle French, from tu thou (from Latin) + toi thee, from Latin te (accusative of tu) — more at thou


First Known Use: 1697


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up tutoyer? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to work hard

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

maudlin prompt angry oily
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ