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 Everyone occasionally commits a faux pas in the workplace, but what matters most is admitting your mistake and learning from it. Ellevate, Forbes, "Six Ways You Can Choose To Challenge Yourself On This International Women's Day," 4 Mar. 2021 The call itself was a major faux pas, for a smart president who understands the nature of executive power knows to cultivate the goodwill of foreign leaders, certainly not to alienate them needlessly. Jay Cost, Washington Examiner, "Swamped," 21 Jan. 2021 They come wrapped in social pressures and expectations, as well as paper: Showing up at a child’s birthday party or a wedding reception without an offering in hand can be a faux pas that strains a friendship. Sarah Baillie, The New Republic, "Cancel Valentine’s Day Consumerism," 12 Feb. 2021 There is something delicious, too, in hearing her complain—and be unabashedly petty—during a time in which to do so is a faux pas. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "The Delights of New York, Fran Lebowitz, and Martin Scorsese’s Laugh," 18 Jan. 2021 Word on the street is the visible thong might be making a comeback, but many refuse to entertain the re-emergence of the fashion faux pas (Your move, Manny from Degrassi). Erin Parker, Glamour, "The 18 Best Thongs to Add to Your Top Drawer, According to Glamour Editors," 26 Jan. 2021 For some, this year’s polling faux pas reflects bigger deficiencies in opinion surveys of Latinos, said Matt Barreto, co-founder of Latino Decisions, an opinion-research company focused on Latinos, Hispanics and other minorities. Maria Eloisa Capurro, Bloomberg.com, "Trump’s Latino Support Was Overlooked by Pollsters That Lack Diversity," 18 Nov. 2020 Biden has a reputation for being undisciplined as a political actor, of being garrulous and unrestrained, a geyser of flubs and faux pas. Los Angeles Times, "Commentary: Presidential inaugurations are theater. What a difference this new cast makes," 20 Jan. 2021 This isn't the paper's first faux pas in covering the Lone Star State, as Texas Monthly writer Dan Solomon has pointed out. Abigail Rosenthal, Chron, "Hey New York Times, 'Rio' means 'river.' You don't have to call it the 'Rio Grande River.'," 13 Jan. 2021

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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Learn More about faux pas

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

7 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Faux pas.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/faux%20pas. Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for faux pas

faux pas

noun

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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