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30 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

bon mot

a witty remark

carte blanche

complete freedom to act as one wishes or thinks best

deus ex machina

an unexpected power/event saving a seemingly hopeless situation

fait accompli

a thing that has already happened or been decided on and cannot be changed


adj. lacking ease or grace, unsophisticated and socially awkward

in flagrante delicto

adj. in the act of wrongdoing, particularly sexual misconduct


a military/political group that rules a country by taking power w/ force

nouveau riche

n or adj. people who've recently acquired wealth and are ostentatious ; pertaining to the characteristics of the nouveau riche


a general feeling of discomfort; illness whose exact cause is difficult to identify


a person of integrity and honor

piece de resistance

the most important or remarkable feature (esp. with creative work)

raison d'etre

most important reason and purpose of someone's life

tour de force

n. impressive preformance or achievement that's been accomplished with great skill


n. ability to act/speak appropriately in social situations (social skills)

vox populi

n. opinion or belief of the majority

ad nauseam

referring to something that has been done or repeated so often that it has become annoying or tiresome.

ante bellum

occurring or existing before a particular war, especially the American Civil War.


new and unusual or experimental ideas, especially in the arts, or the people introducing them

bête noire

a person or thing that one particularly dislikes

cause célèbre

a controversial issue that attracts a great deal of public attention

coup de grace

a final blow or shot given to kill a wounded person or animal

coup d’état

a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government

esprit de corps

feelings of loyalty, enthusiasm, and devotion to a group among people who are members of the group


(of a product) made or used as a substitute, typically an inferior one, for something else

joie de vivre

exuberant enjoyment of life

noblesse oblige

the inferred responsibility of privileged people to act with generosity and nobility toward those less privileged

non sequitur

a conclusion or statement that does not logically follow from the previous argument or statement


pleasure derived by someone from another person's misfortune


a private conversation between two people


the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time