Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.

je ne sais quoi

[zhuh nuh se kwa] /ʒənə sɛ ˈkwa/
noun, French.
an indefinable, elusive quality, especially a pleasing one:
She has a certain je ne sais quoi that charms everybody.
Origin of je ne sais quoi
literally, I don't know what Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for je ne sais quoi
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for je ne sais quoi

je ne sais quoi

an indefinable quality, esp of personality
Word Origin
literally: I don't know what
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for je ne sais quoi

"an inexpressible something," French, literally "I do not know what."

[T]hey are troubled with the je-ne-scay-quoy, that faign themselves sick out of niceness but know not where their own grief lies, or what ayls them. [Thomas Blount, "Glossographia," 1656]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
je ne sais quoi in Culture
je ne sais quoi [(zhuh nuh say kwah)]

That little something; a quality that eludes description: “The Mona Lisa's smile has a certain je ne sais quoi.” From French, meaning “I don't know what.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for je ne sais quoi

Word Value for je

Scrabble Words With Friends