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 The new Apple Card’s best attribute is privacy (though the fashion faux pas of its white titanium has gotten more attention). Anchorage Daily News, "The spy in your wallet: Credit cards have a privacy problem," 2 Sep. 2019 The new Apple Card’s best attribute is privacy (though the fashion faux pas of its white titanium has gotten more attention). Geoffrey A. Fowler, The Denver Post, "The spy in your wallet: Credit cards have a privacy problem," 31 Aug. 2019 The press, too, not only reports on faux pas by public figures during their high-school years, but also those of regular teenagers. Stephen Humphries, The Christian Science Monitor, "Kyle Kashuv case: What does forgiveness mean in modern America?," 21 June 2019 The Twitter account @RudyGiuliani is one of the Internet’s most reliable suppliers of faux pas. Jody Rosen, The New Yorker, "Rudy Giuliani and the Butt-Dialler Within All of Us," 5 Nov. 2019 Another faux pas: using the captions as a place to add jokey commentary. Wired, "The Problem With YouTube's Terrible Closed ‘Craptions’," 1 Oct. 2019 Waller-Bridge gave her warm and pithy acceptance speech not knowing about the makeup faux pas, and instantly made the Internet fall even more in love with her. Neha Prakash, Allure, "Emmys 2019: Phoebe Waller-Bridge Accepts Award With Lipstick on Her Cheek," 23 Sep. 2019 College—presumably where Adam picked up his taste for cultural theory and his ability to analyze an old photograph—is absent except as the site of lovesick breakdown, social faux pas, and a manic phone call home. Christine Smallwood, Harper's magazine, "Novel, Essay, Poem," 16 Sep. 2019 The incident proved to be a huge embarrassment for Ford, a cultural faux pas that contributed to his landslide primary loss three weeks later to Ronald Reagan. Gilbert Garcia, ExpressNews.com, "Lila Cockrell: a product of her time who transcended her time," 30 Aug. 2019

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

4 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Faux pas.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/faux%20pas. Accessed 9 December 2019.

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on faux pas

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for faux pas

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with faux pas

Spanish Central: Translation of faux pas

Nglish: Translation of faux pas for Spanish Speakers

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