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jeu d'esprit

[zhœ des-pree]
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noun, plural jeux d'es·prit [zhœ des-pree] /ʒœ dɛsˈpri/. French.
  1. a witticism.
  2. a literary work showing keen wit or intelligence rather than profundity.
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Origin of jeu d'esprit

literally, play of spirit
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for jeu d'esprit

jeu d'esprit

noun plural jeux d'esprit (ʒø dɛspri)
  1. a light-hearted display of wit or cleverness, esp in literature
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Word Origin

literally: play of spirit
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