faux pas

noun \ ˈfō-ˌpä , fō-ˈpä \
Updated on: 19 Nov 2017

Definition of faux pas

plural faux pas play \ˈfō-ˌpä(z), fō-ˈpä(z)\
: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 social blunder
  • … 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

Examples of faux pas in a Sentence

  1. Arriving too early would be a serious faux pas.

  2. according to an oft-told story, the queen set a guest at ease about a faux pas by politely imitating it

Recent Examples of faux pas from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of faux pas

French, literally, false step


FAUX PAS Defined for English Language Learners

faux pas

noun

Definition of faux pas for English Language Learners

  • : an embarrassing social mistake



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