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 initio from the beginning.
Ab origin from the origin.
Addenda list of additions. (addenda to a book)
Advalorem according to value.
Ad hoc a body elected or appointed lor a definite work. (ad hoc comm ittee).
Ad infinitum to infinity.
Alma mater a school which one has attended.
A la carte according to the bill of fare. (a la carte dishes are available)
Alamode according to the custom (fashion). (a la mode silk)
Alter ego the other self, intimate friend, (Kissinger is the alter ego of Nixon)
Amende honorable satisfactory apology, reparation.
Amour propre self love
Ancien regime the forrner order of things.
A posteriori empirical
A priori from cause to effect, presumptive. (every science cannot be taught a priori)
Apropos in respect of
An couran fully acquainted with matters.
Au fait expert
Au revoir until we meet again (to say au revoir at parting)
Avant propos preliminary matter, preface
Beau ideal the ideal of perfection.
Beaumonde the world of fashion.
Beaux esprits men of wit.
Bete noire a special aversion (India has always been bete noire for Pakistan)
Bona fide good faith (His bona fide in the matter cannot be doubted)
Bizarre odd, fantastic.
Ban voyage a good voyage or journey to you.
Casus belli that which causes or justifies war.
Cause celebre a celebrated or notorious case in law
Charge d’ affaires diplomat inferior in tank to an Ambassador.
Chefd’ oeuvre masterpiece (Mona Lisa is Vinci’s Chef-d’ oeuvre)
Circa about (‘circa 1930’)
Confoere colleague
Contretemps an unexpected or untoward event; a hitch
Corrigenda a list of errors (in a book)
Coup d’etat violent change in government.
Coup de grace a finishing stroke. (The coup de grace of the Russian Revolution was the total annihilation of the Czar family)
Cul-de-sac a 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)
Defacto actual or actually (de facto recognition to a state)
Dejure from the law, by law.
Denovo anew, again (trial of a case)
Denouement the end of a plot (in play)
De profundis out of the depths
Dernier resort last resort
Detente easing of strained relations especially between states.
Dramatis personae characters of the drama or play.
Elite the best part; the pick. (The elite of town)
Enfant terrible a terrible child; one who makes disconcerting remarks.
Entrepreneur person in effective control of a business organization.
En masse in a body. (They took leave en masse)
En rapport in harmony
Entourage friends, group of people accompanying a dignitary.
Errata list of errors
Esprit de corps the animating spirit of a collective body, as a regiment.
Etcetera and the rest.
Eureka I have found it
Ex-officio in virtue of his office.
Expose a statement
Expost facto acting retrospectively
Fait accompli a thing already done.
Faus pas a false step; slip in behaviour.
Hoipolbi the rabble.
Impasse a deadlock. (Talks reached an impasse)
Inextenso at full length
In memoriam in memory
Intoto entirely. (The committee’s recommendations were accepted in tote)
Ipso facto by that very fact.
Laissez faire non interference
Mala Fide with bad faith
Mal-a-propos ill timed.
Modus operandi manner of working. (of a gang, group etc.)
Mutatis mutandis with the necessary changes (rules will come into force mutatis mutandis)
Noblesse oblige rank imposes obligation.
Nota ‘bene note well
Par excellence pre-eminently.
Pari passu side by side.
Per se by itself.
Piece de resistance a resistance piece, the main dish of a meal.
Poste restante to remain in the post office till called for. (said of letters)
Post mortem (examination) made after death.
Prima facie at first view or consideration. (prima facie a good case)
Pro bone publico for the good of the public
Pro forma for the sake of the form.
Pro rata according to rate or proportion.
Protégé one under the protection of another. (S.Vietnam is U.S.’s protege).
Quid pro quo an equivalent, something in return.
Raisond’etre the reason for a thing’s existence.
Resume a summary or abstract (of a discussion Etc.)
Sanctum sanctorum holy of holies. (temple, church etc.)
Seiratim in a series
Sine die without a day being appointed.
Status quo the existing condition. (status quo on border should be maintained)
Stet let it stand.
Sub judice before a court, not yet decided. (The case is sub judice)
Sub rosa under the rose; confidentially
Sui gereris in a class by itself
Summon bonum the chief good.
Terra incognita an unknown country
Tour deforce a notable feat or strength of skill.
Ultra vires beyond one’s authority
Verbatim word for word
Vice versa conversely
Videliect namely
Vis-à-vis opposite; face to face
Viva voce an examination conducted orally.
Vox populi, vox die The voice of the people is The voice of God.
Zeitgeist spirit of the age.