1 of 3


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


2 of 3


plural in construction : the French people
: 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
: strong language
pardon my French


3 of 3


frenched; frenching; frenches
often capitalized

transitive verb

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

Examples of French in a Sentence

Noun the customs of the French
Recent Examples on the Web
Arclight closed a French deal for the movie with local distributor ARP ahead of the festival. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 May 2024 Xi only recently returned from a three-nation tour of Europe, where European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and French President Emmanuel Macron lectured him on the imperative to halt support for Putin’s war machine. Charlie Campbell, TIME, 17 May 2024 It was designed by French product designer Sacha Lakic and comes in colors including vert d’eau (light blue), forêt (green), nuit (dark blue) and tangerine. Marques Harper, Los Angeles Times, 17 May 2024 However, after 25 years on the run, he was arrested by French authorities at his home on the outskirts of Paris in May 2020. Emma Ogao, ABC News, 16 May 2024 Grand Est, France Looking for a picturesque French vacation? Christopher Murray, Fox News, 16 May 2024 The keys to this manicure are very simple: as a base, the manicurist chose a pink tone that French manicure enthusiasts will be used to wearing. Tatiana Ojea, Glamour, 5 May 2024 Cued by country French architecture, this spacious gazebo satisfies modern needs. Abby Wolner, Better Homes & Gardens, 4 May 2024 This Pascha coincides with the 262nd anniversary of Mexico's victory over occupying French forces at Puebla. Jose R. Gonzalez, The Arizona Republic, 4 May 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'French.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English, from Old English frencisc, from Franca Frank

First Known Use


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


12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


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.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


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


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

Medical Definition


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 FrenchMedical Industry Today
abbreviation F

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Daniel Chester 1850–1931 American sculptor
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