[ sav-wahr-vee-vruh, -veev; French sa-vwar-vee-vruh ]

  1. knowledge of the world and the ways or usages of polite society.

Origin of savoir-vivre

1745–55; <French: literally, knowing how to live

Words Nearby savoir-vivre Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use savoir-vivre in a sentence

  • As he himself was a jolly, convivial fellow of much savoir vivre, it is astonishing how well he made these entertainments answer.

    Night and Morning, Complete | Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • I have never known a man of the world so single-hearted, or a saint with so much savoir vivre.

    Guy Livingstone; | George A. Lawrence
  • It was a thousand pities, she thought, that the archdeacon should not have a little of the same savoir vivre.

    Barchester Towers | Anthony Trollope
  • A delightful little thing; but no savoir vivre, no equality to a situation, no spectacular pride.

  • Il ne suffit pas d'être logique en ce monde; il faut savoir vivre avec ceux qui ne le sont pas.

    Notwithstanding | Mary Cholmondeley

British Dictionary definitions for savoir-vivre


/ (ˈsævwɑːˈviːvrə) /

  1. familiarity with the customs of good society; breeding

Origin of savoir-vivre

French, literally: a knowing how to live

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