French

1 of 3

adjective

1
: of, relating to, or characteristic of France, its people, or their language
2
: of or relating to the overseas descendants of the French people
Frenchness noun

French

2 of 3

noun

1
plural in construction : the French people
2
: a Romance language that developed out of the Vulgar Latin spoken in northern and central Transalpine Gaul and that became the literary and official language of France
3
: strong language
pardon my French

french

3 of 3

verb

frenched; frenching; frenches
often capitalized

transitive verb

1
: to trim the meat from the end of the bone of (something, such as a chop)
2
: to cut (green beans) in thin lengthwise strips before cooking

Example Sentences

Noun the customs of the French

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

Middle English, from Old English frencisc, from Franca Frank

First Known Use

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb

circa 1895, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of French was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near French

Cite this Entry

“French.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/French. Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

French

1 of 2 adjective
: of or relating to France, its people, or their language

French

2 of 2 noun
1
: the Romance language of the French
2
French plural : the people of France

Medical Definition

French

noun
plural French
: a unit of measure equal to one-third millimeter used in measuring the outside diameter of a tubular instrument (as a catheter or sound) inserted into a bodily cavity
the catheter shaft size is three French Medical Industry Today
abbreviation F

Biographical Definition

French

biographical name

Daniel Chester 1850–1931 American sculptor

More from Merriam-Webster on French

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ