Foreign Words and Phrases List

Foreign words and phrases are generally not asked directly. But the knowledge of foreign words and phrases will help you in reading comprehension and other types of common questions. So, make yourself familiar with the common foreign words and phrases.

Ab initiofrom the beginning.
Ab originfrom the origin.
Addendalist of additions. (addenda to a book)
Advaloremaccording to value.
Ad hoca body elected or appointed lor a definite work. (ad hoc comm ittee).
Ad infinitumto infinity.
Alma matera school which one has attended.
A la carteaccording to the bill of fare. (a la carte dishes are available)
Alamodeaccording to the custom (fashion). (a la mode silk)
Alter egothe other self, intimate friend, (Kissinger is the alter ego of Nixon)
Amende honorablesatisfactory apology, reparation.
Amour propreself love
Ancien regimethe forrner order of things.
A posterioriempirical
A priorifrom cause to effect, presumptive. (every science cannot be taught a priori)
Aproposin respect of
An couranfully acquainted with matters.
Au faitexpert
Au revoiruntil we meet again (to say au revoir at parting)
Avant propospreliminary matter, preface
Beau idealthe ideal of perfection.
Beaumondethe world of fashion.
Beaux espritsmen of wit.
Bete noirea special aversion (India has always been bete noire for Pakistan)
Bona fidegood faith (His bona fide in the matter cannot be doubted)
Bizarreodd, fantastic.
Ban voyagea good voyage or journey to you.
Casus bellithat which causes or justifies war.
Cause celebrea celebrated or notorious case in law
Charge d’ affairesdiplomat inferior in tank to an Ambassador.
Chefd’ oeuvremasterpiece (Mona Lisa is Vinci’s Chef-d’ oeuvre)
Circaabout (‘circa 1930’)
Confoerecolleague
Contretempsan unexpected or untoward event; a hitch
Corrigendaa list of errors (in a book)
Coup d’etatviolent change in government.
Coup de gracea finishing stroke. (The coup de grace of the Russian Revolution was the total annihilation of the Czar family)
Cul-de-saca blind alley (The failure of the Policy of non-alignment in 1962 saw our foreign reach a cul-de-sac)
Deback’complete tout (debacle of opposition in the election)
Defactoactual or actually (de facto recognition to a state)
Dejurefrom the law, by law.
Denovoanew, again (trial of a case)
Denouementthe end of a plot (in play)
De profundisout of the depths
Dernier resortlast resort
Detenteeasing of strained relations especially between states.
Dramatis personaecharacters of the drama or play.
Elitethe best part; the pick. (The elite of town)
Enfant terriblea terrible child; one who makes disconcerting remarks.
Entrepreneurperson in effective control of a business organization.
En massein a body. (They took leave en masse)
En rapportin harmony
Entouragefriends, group of people accompanying a dignitary.
Erratalist of errors
Esprit de corpsthe animating spirit of a collective body, as a regiment.
Etceteraand the rest.
EurekaI have found it
Ex-officioin virtue of his office.
Exposea statement
Expost factoacting retrospectively
Fait accomplia thing already done.
Faus pasa false step; slip in behaviour.
Hoipolbithe rabble.
Impassea deadlock. (Talks reached an impasse)
Inextensoat full length
In memoriamin memory
Intotoentirely. (The committee’s recommendations were accepted in tote)
Ipso factoby that very fact.
Laissez fairenon interference
Mala Fidewith bad faith
Mal-a-proposill timed.
Modus operandimanner of working. (of a gang, group etc.)
Mutatis mutandiswith the necessary changes (rules will come into force mutatis mutandis)
Noblesse obligerank imposes obligation.
Nota ‘benenote well
Par excellencepre-eminently.
Pari passuside by side.
Per seby itself.
Piece de resistancea resistance piece, the main dish of a meal.
Poste restanteto remain in the post office till called for. (said of letters)
Post mortem(examination) made after death.
Prima facieat first view or consideration. (prima facie a good case)
Pro bone publicofor the good of the public
Pro formafor the sake of the form.
Pro rataaccording to rate or proportion.
Protégéone under the protection of another. (S.Vietnam is U.S.’s protege).
Quid pro quoan equivalent, something in return.
Raisond’etrethe reason for a thing’s existence.
Resumea summary or abstract (of a discussion Etc.)
Sanctum sanctorumholy of holies. (temple, church etc.)
Seiratimin a series
Sine diewithout a day being appointed.
Status quothe existing condition. (status quo on border should be maintained)
Stetlet it stand.
Sub judicebefore a court, not yet decided. (The case is sub judice)
Sub rosaunder the rose; confidentially
Sui gererisin a class by itself
Summon bonumthe chief good.
Terra incognitaan unknown country
Tour deforcea notable feat or strength of skill.
Ultra viresbeyond one’s authority
Verbatimword for word
Vice versaconversely
Videliectnamely
Vis-à-visopposite; face to face
Viva vocean examination conducted orally.
Vox populi, vox dieThe voice of the people is The voice of God.
Zeitgeistspirit of the age.