• synonyms


or gal·li·cism

[gal-uh-siz-uh m]
  1. a French idiom or expression used in another language, as Je ne sais quoi when used in English.
  2. a feature that is characteristic of or peculiar to the French language.
  3. a custom or trait considered to be characteristically French.
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Origin of Gallicism

From the French word gallicisme, dating back to 1650–60. See Gallic, -ism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gallicism

Historical Examples of gallicism

  • It is a Gallicism, but all the better, where one desires to be imperative, and yet vague.

    Sir Brook Fossbrooke, Volume I.

    Charles James Lever

  • But this association proved so helpless that it could not even hinder the invasion of Gallicism in the eighteenth century.

  • If any elegant scholar will translate that Gallicism for me literally, I shall feel obliged to him.

    Sword and Gown

    George A. Lawrence

  • Boutefeu, a gallicism for incendiary: in Dryden's time it was a word of good reputation, but is now obsolete.

British Dictionary definitions for gallicism


  1. a word or idiom borrowed from French
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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

Word Origin and History for gallicism



"French word or idiom," 1650s, from Gallic + -ism.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper