savoir faire

sa·​voir faire | \ ˌsav-ˌwär-ˈfer How to pronounce savoir faire (audio) \

Definition of savoir faire

: capacity for appropriate action especially : a polished sureness in social behavior

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Choose the Right Synonym for savoir faire

tact, address, poise, savoir faire mean skill and grace in dealing with others. tact implies delicate and considerate perception of what is appropriate. questions showing a lack of tact address stresses dexterity and grace in dealing with new and trying situations and may imply success in attaining one's ends. brought it off with remarkable address poise may imply both tact and address but stresses self-possession and ease in meeting difficult situations. answered the accusations with unruffled poise savoir faire is likely to stress worldly experience and a sure awareness of what is proper or expedient. the savoir faire of a seasoned traveler

Examples of savoir faire in a Sentence

I admire her sophistication and savoir faire. He handled the problem with his usual savoir faire.

Recent Examples on the Web

Every designer was given the opportunity to create an item in collaboration with one of the 12 Chanel Maisons d’Art, famous for their French savoir faire. Tiziana Cardini, Vogue, "The Festival d’Hyères’s Top Prize Goes to a Young Austrian Whose Focus Is Upcycling," 29 Apr. 2019 And year after year, the artisans that occupy the workshops continue to translate each point of departure with creativity and savoir faire. Amy Verner, Vogue, "Vogue Got an Exclusive Tour of Chanel’s Ateliers While Tonight’s Métiers d’Art Collection Was Being Made," 5 Dec. 2018 The annual Waiters-Waitresses Race at 3 p.m. Sunday will feature servers competing in a test of speed and savoir faire. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bastille Days is back Thursday, but the geography's shifted due to streetcar testing," 10 July 2018 Last Sunday, De Libran presented the label’s first haute couture offering, a salute to the atelier’s savoir faire. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Sonia Rykiel’s Julie de Libran and Friends Make “Generous Sweaters,” Give Proceeds to Charity," 5 July 2018 There’s an expression in French called savoir faire — the knowledge of different work — and that’s what my grandmother taught me. Kathleen Hou, The Cut, "How an Ex-Banker Began Growing Flowers for Dior," 30 Oct. 2017 Leave a Note Quaintness isn’t always anathema to style and savoir faire—just ask the Gray family, proprietors of Freeport’s Harraseeket Inn. Condé Nast Traveler, "Harraseeket Inn," 20 Oct. 2017 That intriguing dichotomy—dirt roads and private jets, fishmongers and Diane von Furstenberg—is reflected in Bergamin's decor, a marvel of unstudied chic and cross-cultural savoir faire. Mayer Rus, ELLE Decor, "Global Style Hits the Beach," 8 Apr. 2011

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'savoir faire.' 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 savoir faire

1788, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for savoir faire

French savoir-faire, literally, knowing how to do

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Dictionary Entries near savoir faire




savoir faire

savoir vivre



Statistics for savoir faire

Last Updated

21 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for savoir faire

The first known use of savoir faire was in 1788

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More Definitions for savoir faire

savoir faire


English Language Learners Definition of savoir faire

formal : the ability to behave in a correct and confident way in different situations

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Comments on savoir faire

What made you want to look up savoir faire? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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