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Origin of fiancée
usage note for fiancée
However, it is also common for borrowed words to lose some foreign characteristics. This is why, for example, words like cliché , fiancée , or résumé may be written in English without accent marks. Such an omission in French would be an error, resulting in the wrong pronunciation of these words, but in English, it is acceptable to lose this foreign feature.
Similarly, some English speakers will completely drop the gender agreement in the fiancé — fiancée distinction, using fiancé for both men and women. The prescriptive rules of English grammar do not encourage the reduction to a single form, though it is a natural phenomenon for words borrowed into English to neutralize gender markings.
The adjective née presents a slightly different case. The feminine inflection of this French word is the commonly borrowed form, since women are usually the ones to distinguish their maiden names from their married ones. However, the masculine form né would be the appropriate one for a man in reference to his original last name, in the increasingly common event of the groom’s name changing with his marriage.
The spelling with the extra e is the marked feminine form and should be used to name or describe a woman: née , divorcée , fiancée . If you choose to spell these French words with their accents, be sure to place them correctly. For words ending in ée, the accented é is the first of the two.
Words nearby fiancée
FIANCÉE VS. FIANCÉ
What’s the difference between fiancée and fiancé?
The word fiancée is traditionally used to refer to the woman that a person is engaged to be married to (the bride-to-be). The word fiancé is traditionally used to refer to the man that a person is engaged to be married to (the groom-to-be).
However, the spelling fiancé—with just one e—is sometimes used without reference to gender.
The two words are pronounced exactly the same. Their different endings are due to the fact that they derive from French, which has grammatical gender, meaning that some words end differently depending on whether they are applied to men or women (with e being the feminine ending). This happens in a few other pairs of words in English, like blond and blonde, though in many cases the term without the e has become largely gender-neutral. This is the case with both blond and fiancé.
Similar to some other words derived from French (like résumé), they are sometimes written without accents, as fiance and fiancee.
Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between fiancée and fiancé.
Quiz yourself on fiancée vs. !
True or False?
The spelling fiancé can be used for any gender.
How to use fiancée in a sentence
I lost the closest thing I had to a friend, I eventually lost my fiancée, I lost the ability to connect with others.
If I’m being completely honest, it was a long conversation that kind of went over multiple days with my fiancée and I talking about the pros and cons.2021 Could Be the Biggest Wedding Year Ever. But Are Guests Ready to Gather?|Eliana Dockterman|May 29, 2021|Time
He was fresh off of a breakup with his fashion designer fiancée, whom he dumped through a text message.Katie Holmes’ Pandemic Romance May Be Over. How About Yours?|Alaina Demopoulos|April 23, 2021|The Daily Beast
In nearly two hours of interviews conducted in Spanish and English, as well as in a letter dictated to his fiancée from Santa Rita Jail east of Oakland, Carrillo talked about the evolution of his anti-government ideology.“I Felt Hate More Than Anything”: How an Active Duty Airman Tried to Start a Civil War|by Gisela Pérez de Acha, Kathryn Hurd and Ellie Lightfoot, Berkeley Journalism’s Investigative Reporting Program|April 13, 2021|ProPublica
It is a real blessing that your fiancée is being so supportive of you doing this.From pickup basketball to market domination: My wild ride with Coupang|Ram Iyer|April 12, 2021|TechCrunch
This engagement has been such a very public affair, so far, that I think I'd like to see my fiancee alone for a moment.April Hopes|William Dean Howells
You have nothing to bother you—no family, no wife, no fiancee?The American|Henry James
Moreover, he showed not the least sign that he had any idea such information might be startlingly obnoxious to his fiancee.The Call of the Canyon|Zane Grey
As soon as he was in the presence of his fiancee he saw that she was again in the throes of some violent agitation.The Grain Of Dust|David Graham Phillips
If there was never fiancee stronger-minded and more reserved than she, never was there mother more tender.Mauprat|George Sand