When it comes to one of the most beautiful languages, French always comes to mind. These 12 beautiful French words you have to know, will show you just how charming the language is.

With a French heritage, my first introduction to the language was at an early age. I remember writing down French phrases and words that stuck out to me. The French words that caught my attention, described what I couldn’t in English, and captured a moment. I find often the French language feels romantic, airy, and well just charming.

So as you read through this list of beautiful French words, I think you’ll see just how beautiful the language is.

12 Beautiful French Words You Have to Know


12 Beautiful French Words You Have to Know

1. Flâner

Ever gone on a trip and you meander down a road with no plans? That is what the word “flâner” means. It translates exactly to “wander with no destination in mind.” It’s such an ideal way to spend any day when you get to pass time with no immediate plans in mind.

Pronounced: flɑne

12 Beautiful French Words You Have to Know

2. Rêvasser

It encompasses the concept of daydreaming. Those moments you find your mind drifting to foreign places or fond memories.

Pronounced: ʀɛvase

12 Beautiful French Words You Have to Know

3. Onirique

Not quite like “rêvasser” but similar, onirique means dreamlike. It has roots in a Greek word that means dream. This French word describes something or a moment that comes from a dream. You could even say “dreamy.”

Pronounced: ɔniʀik

12 Beautiful French Words You Have to Know

4. Retrouvailles

You know that moment you’re reunited with someone that you adore after a long period of time? The word “retrouvailles” is exactly that moment of incredible happiness to see that person again. It’s a point in time where the smile overcomes your expression and you’re once again with that special person.

Pronounced: ʀ(ə)tʀuvɑj

5. Nouveau départ

Though technically a phrase, this one had to be included. It means “a fresh start” and such a beautiful way to think about it. It’s a new departure or a beginning of something new and foreign.

Pronounced: nuvo depaʀ

6. Casse-cou

For those living on the edge, you’ll love this French word. It translates to “daredevil” and can also mean reckless. Casse-cou is for those who love to take the risks and love adventure.

Pronounced: kɑsku

12 Beautiful French Words You Have to Know

7. Chouette

This may be my favorite word to use in French and it translates to “cool.” You could use it to describe many things, but I think of it as super hip. Like checking out a new coffee shop or someone’s new sneakers, one could use the word “chouette” to describe it.

Pronounced: ʃwɛt

8. Raffinée

It’s an adjective to describe something or someone that is refined or sophisticated. For me, I picture Parisiennes walking along the Seine that is well-dressed and put together. You can also use it to describe food, like “cuisine raffinée” or refined cuisine.

Pronounced: rafine

12 Beautiful French Words You Have to Know

9. Émerveiller

As this word rolls off the tongue, you may feel exactly what the word describes. Émerveiller describes the concept of “wonder” or perhaps to be amazed. Like when you see fireworks shoot off in the sky, it can be used as a verb to describe the wow or surprise one feels.

Pronounced: emɛʀveje

10. Douceur

The first bite of a pain au chocolat or ripe summer fruit, one would use the word “douceur” to describe the moment. It translates as sweetness like that of candy. You sometimes hear it in the phrase “douceur de vivre” which means “the pleasure of life.” So you can also use it to describe something that is pleasant.

Pronounced: dusœr

12 Beautiful French Words You Have to Know

11. Éblouissant

Ever seen the ocean sparkle at the end of the day, as the light glimmers off the water? Éblouissant translates as “dazzling” and it’s exactly that. It’s an adjective in that form, and can also mean to “amaze.”

Pronounced: ebluisã

12. Chéri

A term of endearment, chéri is often combined with “mon” to say “mon chéri,” meaning my dear. It’s a cute way of saying in French, my dear or my sweetheart. For masculine, it is “mon chéri” and for feminine, it is “ma chérie.”

Pronounced: ʃeʀi


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