You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘French’ tag.

To catch someone suspected of a crime; to understand something. French “appréhender” < Latin “apprehendere”=to seize, get hold of < “ad-“=to + “prehendere”=to seize.


A part of a garden with areas of flowers surrounded by low hedges; part of the ground floor of a theater auditorium behind the orchestra pit. French “parterre”=ground, floor < “par”=on + “terre”=earth, ground.

A fellow-member of a learned profession, scientific body, fraternity, guild etc. French “confrere” < Latin “confrater” < “con”=together with + “frater”=brother.

Relating to or requiring an absence of oxygen. French “anaérobie” < “an”=without + “aérobie”=related to air < Greek “aer”=air.

A wall or raised barrier built to stop a river from flooding. French “levée” < “lever”=to lift, raise < Latin “levare”=to raise.

A small surgical instrument used to remove material by a scraping action. French “curette” < “curer”=to clear or cleanse < Latin “curare”=to cure.

Bad handwriting; scrawled or scribbled letters. French “griffonage” < “griffonner”=to write badly < “griffe”=claw.

A small rapid jerky movement of the eye it looks from one thing to another. French “saccade”=a violent pull < Old French “saquer”=to pull.

A decorated wooden frame that supports the coffin of an important person during a funeral or while lying in state. French “catafalque” < Italian “catafalco” < Latin “catafaltus”=scaffold.

A moderate to dark yellowish brown color. French “terre d’ombre”=earth of shadow < Latin “ombra”=shadow or “Umbrian” = belonging to the province of Umbria in Italy.

Using the site

Use the Search box below to look for a specific word. Use the A-Z tab to browse pages of words.
Follow Tweetionary: An Etymology Dictionary on