je ne sais quoi

noun
\ zhə-nə-ˌsā-ˈkwä How to pronounce je ne sais quoi (audio) \

Definition of je ne sais quoi

: something (such as an appealing quality) that cannot be adequately described or expressed a young actress who has a certain je ne sais quoi

Examples of je ne sais quoi in a Sentence

Although the sculpture had flaws, it also had a certain je ne sais quoi that made it very appealing.
Recent Examples on the Web Jinsoon's shade Dandy ($18) is an even smokier shade of purple thanks to a hefty dose of cool gray that gives it a mysterious je ne sais quoi. Marci Robin, Allure, 23 Apr. 2022 Her outfits have a breezy sort of je ne sais quoi that comes from an abundance of denim — the vibe is sleek and clean, and tends to lean more minimalist. Hannah Oh, Seventeen, 1 Apr. 2022 The Knights, the Observer reflected, are known for their frivolity, their flair, their je ne sais quoi. The Masked Observer, al, 24 Feb. 2022 That earthy filling acquires a certain je ne sais quoi with a dash of vadouvan, a French-Indian spice blend of roasted onion, shallot, garlic, fenugreek, cumin, mustard seed and other aromatics. Odette Williams, WSJ, 2 Feb. 2022 Nonalcoholic beer sometimes feels like it’s missing that certain je ne sais quoi. Outside Online, 28 Feb. 2019 Basically, the end result is a small heart of highlighter on the tip of your nose that adds some je ne sais quoi to your look. Gabi Thorne, Allure, 1 Feb. 2022 If your home could use that certain je ne sais quoi, keep scrolling to shop our 10 favorite picks from Amazon's French country home furniture and decor storefront. Lily Gray, PEOPLE.com, 25 Jan. 2022 It’s a curated hospitality experience and collection of boutique properties that have been vetted for their fabulous style, local charm, ideal location, architectural splendor and overall je ne sais quoi. Baz Dreisinger, Forbes, 23 Oct. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of je ne sais quoi

circa 1656, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for je ne sais quoi

French, literally, I know not what

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Time Traveler for je ne sais quoi

Time Traveler

The first known use of je ne sais quoi was circa 1656

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Dictionary Entries Near je ne sais quoi

Jena glass

je ne sais quoi

Jenner

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Statistics for je ne sais quoi

Last Updated

29 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Je ne sais quoi.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/je%20ne%20sais%20quoi. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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