Definitions

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

  • n. A social blunder.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A blunder (especially used in social contexts); a misstep.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A false step; a mistake or wrong measure

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A false step; a slip; a mistake; especially, a breach of good manners; a lapse from chastity, or any act that compromises one's reputation.

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

  • n. a socially awkward or tactless act

Etymologies

French : faux, false + pas, step.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the French phrase faux pas, of the same meaning; composed of faux, “false, wrong”, and pas, “step”. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Unfortunately, children with learning problems are often unaware of these peer-imposed norms and, as a result, continually make social faux pas that create and foster a negative reputation.

    It's So Much Work to Be Your Friend

  • With the faux pas of ex-dating, I had definitely hit the bottom of the barrel.

    Same Sex in the City

  • “But I take it our two guides have set your mind at ease that we will not commit some glaring faux pas and do not actually require nursemaids to help us survive our time here,” Holmes said evenly, sounding more amused than perturbed.

    O Jerusalem

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