je ne sais quoi
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- (UK) IPA(key): /ˌʒə nə seɪ ˈkwɑː/
- (US) IPA(key): /ˌʒə nə seɪ ˈkwɑ/
- (emulating French) IPA(key): /ˌʒə n(ə) sɛ ˈkwɑː/
- Rhymes: -ɑː
je ne sais quoi (uncountable)
- An indefinable quality that makes something distinctive or attractive.
- She has a certain je ne sais quoi about her.
- 1894, George du Maurier, “Part Second”, in Trilby: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, →OCLC, page 85:
- "Say, you others, I find that the Englishman has something of truly distinguished in the voice, something of sympathetic, of touching—something of je ne sais quoi!" Bouchardy: "Yes, yes—something of je ne sais quoi! That's the very phrase— […] "
indefinable quality that makes something distinctive
Literally, “I don't know what”.