faux pas

noun
\ ˈfō-ˌpä How to pronounce faux pas (audio) , fō-ˈpä \
plural faux pas\ ˈfō-​ˌpä(z) How to pronounce faux pas (audio) , fō-​ˈpä(z) \

Definition of faux pas

: a significant or embarrassing error or mistake : blunder Long, hot soaks in winter are a classic faux pas, since exposure to extreme heat after having been in the cold can cause small visible blood vessels to appear at the skin's surface.Elle especially : a socially awkward or improper act or remark Audiences must be supportive and enthusiastic—lots of clapping, no heckling. (And talking on cellphones during the performance is a huge faux pas). — Claudine Ise … when I sauntered into the main dining room for my first breakfast, I realized I was the only person showing his legs. Careless faux pas, or was I being overly sensitive to the local culture? — David Swanson Campaigning last year seemed to convince her that she can venture out alone without making costly faux pas. Time Magazine It was not until I'd covered about fifty kilometers that I committed my most terrible social faux pas yet: I overtook another cyclist. — Polly Evans

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Examples of faux pas in a Sentence

Arriving too early would be a serious faux pas. according to an oft-told story, the queen set a guest at ease about a faux pas by politely imitating it
Recent Examples on the Web An apparent hair dye mishap gave critics of Rudy Giuliani another chance to gleefully mock him, the latest in a string of faux pas to distract from Giuliani's unsubstantiated claims of election fraud. Joel Shannon, USA TODAY, "Critics roast Giuliani for apparent hair dye mishap: 'Hire union hair and makeup professionals'," 19 Nov. 2020 That last faux pas makes the Queen even less interested in being kind to Margaret, largely because the royals worry Margaret will scare off their beloved deer. Martha Sorren, refinery29.com, "R29 Binge Club: The Crown Season 4 Recaps," 16 Nov. 2020 Newsom acknowledged that the faux pas may result in a loss of his moral authority on the coronavirus as California experiences a major surge in cases. Taryn Luna, Los Angeles Times, "Newsom apologizes for French Laundry dinner, says he will practice what he preaches on COVID-19," 16 Nov. 2020 The shocked expression on his face indicated to me that this was probably a faux pas… but not enough to prevent me from eating the chew bits of steak! Dalton Ross, EW.com, "Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Edna Ma wants more challenges on the show," 8 Oct. 2020 In this era of healthy hair goals, being obsessed with something that can cause damage to your strands is a bit of a beauty faux pas. Tatjana Freund, Marie Claire, "Triple Barrel Curling Irons: Your Ultimate Guide," 29 Oct. 2020 Microsoft is working on an update that could save you from future videoconferencing faux pas. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, "Microsoft Teams will use artificial intelligence to better reduce background noises in video conferences," 20 Oct. 2020 Not only is Brady now 0-2 against Nick Foles and no longer undefeated against the Chicago Bears, but the 43-year-old suffered a major faux pas on Thursday Night Football. Chris Sims, The Indianapolis Star, "Tom Brady forgets 4th down against Bears and Twitter loses its mind," 9 Oct. 2020 There are ways to avoid having to admit your faux pas. Chicago Tribune, Star Tribune, "How to figure out who's who," 25 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'faux pas.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of faux pas

1676, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for faux pas

French, literally, false step

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Time Traveler for faux pas

Time Traveler

The first known use of faux pas was in 1676

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Statistics for faux pas

Last Updated

25 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Faux pas.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/faux%20pas. Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for faux pas

faux pas

noun
How to pronounce faux pas (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of faux pas

: an embarrassing social mistake

More from Merriam-Webster on faux pas

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for faux pas

Nglish: Translation of faux pas for Spanish Speakers

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