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Foreign Language Vocabulary Terms Help

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Updated on Sep 8, 2011

Foreign Language Terms Used in English

      aficionado    
      (noun)
      a person who likes, knows about, and is devoted to a particular activity or thing
      Jonelle has been a baseball _____ ever since she went to her first game with her dad.
      avant-garde    
      (noun)
      a group of people who develop innovative and experimental concepts, especially in the arts
      (adj.)
      relating to a group of people who develop innovative and experimental concepts, especially in the arts
      As part of the _____, Abe's paintings have always been on the cutting edge.
      Ted's art has become increasingly _____; he now is building sculptures in his loft in Brooklyn.
      blasé    
      (adj.)
      apathetic to pleasure or excitement as a result of excessive indulgence in something
      Because Jon works in the music industry, going to concerts has become _____, as they are no longer a novelty.
      bourgeois    
      (adj.)
      having the attributes and beliefs of the middle class, marked by materialistic concerns
      Pete has never succumbed _____ to values—he is comfortable living a simple life.
      cliché    
      (noun)
      a phrase or saying that has been overused and, as a result, has little significance or meaning
      Try to avoid using _____ in your writing, as they are not as powerful as vivid, fresh language.
      debut    
      (noun)
      a first appearance
      The tennis player was nervous about her _____ as a professional.
      élan    
      (noun)
      spirit, enthusiasm, or excitement
      The medical resident showed great _____ for medicine; she was always prepared and asked a lot of questions.
      entrepreneur    
      (noun)
      a person who takes on the challenge and risk of starting his or her own business
      Being an _____ is nerve-wracking because you can never be certain that your idea will be a hit.
      epitome    
      (noun)
      an exact example of something; someone or something that embodies the essence of a concept or type
      He is the _____ of a scientist with his wirerimmed glasses and absentminded attitude.
      fait accompli    
      (noun)
      something that is complete and seemingly irreversible
      When she signed the one-year lease for her new apartment, it was a _____.
      gauche    
      (adj.)
      lacking social graces or sophistication
      The teenager felt _____ in the company of a more sophisticated crowd.
      imbroglio    
      (noun)
      a complicated or embarrassing situation due to a misunderstanding
      When David thought that Sally was my girlfriend instead of my sister, it created an _____ until I cleared up the misunderstanding.
      ingenue    
      (noun)
      a young girl or woman, an actress playing such a role
      She was an _____; she was young and innocent.
      laissez-faire    
      (noun)
      a doctrine opposing government control of economic matters except in the case of maintaining peace and the concept of property
      He believed in a _____ policy because he thought that the government should not interfere with economic matters.
      malaise    
      (noun)
      the vague feeling of illness
      She went to the doctor because she felt a general _____ and thought she was coming down with something.
      naïve    
      (adj.)
      innocent, simple, lacking knowledge of the world
      I told him he was _____ to think that his landlord would offer to fix his sink without a written or verbal request.
      non sequitur    
      (noun)
      a statement that has no connection to the previous statement or idea
      My grandmother made such a _____ yesterday. She was telling me about her wedding and then in the next breath said her car needed to be fixed.
      rendezvous    
      (noun)
      a meeting place
      (verb)
      to meet at a meeting place
      They decided the school would be their _____, and then they would go to the park.
      vendetta    
      (noun)
      a grudge or feud characterized by acts of retaliation
      He had a _____ against the man who killed his father and vowed he would seek revenge.
      vignette    
      (noun)
      a short descriptive written piece
      The teacher asked the class to write a _____ about their home so they could practice writing short but clear, descriptive pieces.

TIP

Many languages, including English, have roots in Latin, so a knowledge of Latin would be an extra boost to your vocabulary skills.

Practice exercises for this study guide can be found at: Foreign Language Terms Vocabulary Practice

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