Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The ability to say or do the right or graceful thing. See Synonyms at tact.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The ability to do or say what is appropriate for the occasion.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The faculty of knowing just what to do and how to do it; skilful management; tact; address.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. social skill

Etymologies

French : savoir, to know how + faire, to do.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French savoir-faire, know-how, from savoir, to know (how) + faire, to do (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Food professionals of every branch are taking their time to transmit their passion and their savoir-faire in an effort to bring new taste sensations and food awareness to the French, encourage the discovery of la diversité des goûts et saveurs, diversity in taste and flavors.

    Jamie Schler: La Semaine du Goût: The Week of Taste

  • Mr. Arnault has often complimented Herm è s on its image and savoir-faire.

    LVMH Takes Stake in Herm

  • See the comments section at the blog and thank you for sharing your own language savoir-faire.

    French Destinations

  • Apart from the couple of fluid balances in the wedding pas de deux, she offering intent lessons in technical savoir-faire.

    Archive 2009-11-01

  • As you can probably guess from the name, the show forces attractive women and geeky guys to co-habit and transform their opposite numbers, giving the geeks apparent savoir-faire and the beauties a sheen of academic knowledge.

    Seven Seeks Beauty And The Geek Contestants | Lifehacker Australia

  • The savoir-faire in the region has helped elevate linen to a high-fashion fabric.

    The Muddy Roots of Fine Linen

  • He enjoyed their company, admired their intelligence and savoir-faire, and made friends.

    Looking Back On the Spy Life

  • Jean Cazals for The Wall Street Journal In Paris, this very British rite benefits from the savoir-faire of French pastry chefs and from a history of importing the finest teas from the Far East.

    Standing on Ceremony

  • Buzzy Paris: Shangri-La's La Bauhinia In Paris, the very British rite of afternoon tea benefits from the savoir-faire of French pastry chefs and from a history of importing the finest teas from the Far East.

    The Most Agreeable Hour

  • "J'ai le plaisir de vous adresser une sélection de ce produit, fruit d'une longue tradition et d'un savoir-faire unique au monde qui vous convaincra, s'il en était besoin, qu'il n'est de moutarde que de Dijon", ajoute-t-il.

    obama and dijon mustard: the history behind the headlines.

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