French Words Starting With A, B and C

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Build your French vocabulary by studying common French words starting with letters A, B and C. Listen to the pronunciation of these words and practice using them in context.

French Words That Start With A

Athe letter A
abaisserto pull/push down, to lower
abandonné(adj) - abandoned, disused; relaxed
abattreto pull down; to slaughter; to weaken
un abcèsabscess
À bientôtSee you soon
s'abonner àto subscribe, to buy a season ticket
aborderto reach; approach; start up, take on
aboutirto succeed; to end up
abracadabrant(adj) - incredible, preposterous
un abrishelter, refuge
abrutirto exhaust, to deaden one's mind
absent(adj) - absent, lacking, missing
AcadieAcadia
accablant(adj) - exhausting, oppressive, overwhelming
un accélérateurgas pedal
les accessoires (m)accessories
accro(inf adj) - hooked, addicted
une accrochelead-in, catch phrase, headline
l'acharnement (m)fierceness, fury, determination
les achats (m)shopping
à côté denext to
un acteuractor
actif(adj) - active
l'actif (m)assets, credits
une actriceactress
actualité (f)current events, news
l'addition (f)check/bill
AdélaïdeAdelaide
AdèleAdela
À demainSee you tomorrow
AdieuFarewell
un(e) ado(inf) - teenager
AdrienAdrian
AdrienneAdriana
à droiteright
un aeroport (m)airport
affadirto make tasteless, dull, uninteresting, colorless
une afficheposter
afficherto post, display, flaunt
affublerto wear something bizarre (as if to disguise)
Africain(e)African
AgatheAgatha
AgnèsAgnes
à gaucheleft
l'agneau (m)lamb
une agrafestaple
une agrafeusestapler
agréablenice, pleasant, pleasing
agrégerto aggregate, incorporate
ah bon(interj) - oh really? (not "oh good")
Aidez-moi !Help!
Aimé(loved)
AiméeAmy, (loved)
à la carteside order (not part of le menu)
AlainAlan, Allen
alambiqué(adj) - convoluted, involved, obsure
À la prochaineUntil next time
à la rigueur(adv) - or even, if need be
AlexandreAlexander
AlexandrieAlexandria
Alexis 
AlfredAlfred
Algérien(ne)Algerian
AliceAlice
AlixAlex
alléchant(adj) - mouth-watering, tempting, enticing
allergique à ...allergic to...
une alliancewedding ring
Allô ?Hello?
alourdirto weigh/load down, to make heavy
AlphonseAlfonso
un amantlover
une amantelover
un amateuramateur, lover of
Amaury 
AmélieAmelia
améliorerto improve
Américain(e)American
un(e) ami(e)friend
amical(adj) - friendly
les amisthe friends
amitié (f)friendship, liking, kindness
l'amourlove
une ampleurfullness, liberalness, opulence; scale, extent
Anaïs 
un ananaspineapple
AnastasieAnastasia
les anchoisanchovies
les anciens élèvesformer students
AndréAndrew
AndréeAndrea
anéantirto annihilate, destroy; to overwhelm, overcome
une anesthésie localelocal anesthesia
Anglais(e), l'anglaisEnglish
anglo-saxon(adj) - of or relating to British civilization
une anicroche(inf) - hitch, snag, problem
animerto lead, conduct; drive, encourage; liven up
animé(adj) - busy, lively, animated
AnneAnn
l'anniversaire de mariagewedding anniversary
un annuairephone book
anonymat (m)anonymity
un anorakski jacket
Anouk 
AntoineAnthony
AntoinetteAntoinette
Anton 
aoûtAugust
à peine(adv) - hardly, barely
un apéritifcocktail
à pointmedium-rare
un appart(fam) - apartment, flat
un appel en P.C.V.collect call
appelerto call
apprivoiserto tame, domesticate, make more sociable
appui (m)support
après être venuafter having come
l'arabeArabic
l'argenterie (f)silverware
une armoirecloset
arnaquer(fam) - to swindle, rip off; to nab, arrest
Arnaud 
Arnaude 
arracherto lift, tear out/off, pull up/out; to snatch
un arrêtstop
arrière (m)back, stern
en arrièrebehind, backwards
les arrivéesArrivals
un arrondissementdistrict; rounding, swelling
arroserto water, spray, (inf) - to drink to
ArthurArthur
un artichautartichoke
un(e) artisteartist
AsiatiqueAsian
les asperges (f)asparagus
assezfairly
assez utilefairly useful
une assietteplate
assoupirto make drowsy 
s'assoupirto doze off
assuré(adj) - confident
astreindreto compel, force
Astrid 
à ta santécheers
atavique(adj) - atavistic, hereditary
à temps partiel(adv, adj) - part-time
à tes souhaitsbless you (after a sneeze)
un atoutasset, trump card
À tout à l'heureSee you soon
un attentatmurder attempt, attack
attention !(interj) - Warning! Watch out!
une aubergineeggplant
AudreyAudrey
au faitby the way; informed of; Get to the point!
AugusteAugustus
AugustinAugustus
auparavant(adv) - beforehand, previously
au pifas a rough guess, at random
Aurélie 
Aurore(dawn)
autant(adv) - as much/many, so much/many
une autocar
une autoroutehighway
l'auto-stop (m)hitchhiking
auprès de(prep) - next to, compared with, in the view of
Au revoirGood-bye
Au secours !Help!
au téléphoneon the phone
Australien(ne)Australian
l'autobusbus
automneautumn
avant hierthe day before yesterday
avec ellewith her
avenant(adj) - pleasant, welcoming
un aventurieradventurer
avéré(adj) - known, recognized
s'avérerto turn out (that)
l'avionplane
un avocat, une avocatelawyer (barrister)
avoirto have
avoir faimto be hungry
avoir soifto be thirsty
à vos souhaitsbless you (after a sneeze)
à votre santécheers
avouerto avow, confess, admit
avrilApril

French Words That Start With B

Bthe letter B
un baba cool(inf) - hippy
le babeurrebuttermilk
le bacle baccalauréat; ferry, tub, trough, vat
bâclerto botch, scamp, throw together
badinerto banter, jest
des bagagesluggage
la bagarrefight, brawl
bagarrer(inf) - to fight, clash, argue
bagatelletrinket
une bagnole(inf) - car
une baguering
une bague de fiançaillesengagement ring
une baguetteFrench bread, baton, chopstick
un bahutsideboard; (inf) - school, taxi, truck
une baignoirebathtub
un bainbathtub
le bain moussantbubble bath
baiser to kiss; (vulgar slang) - to outdo, to be had; to have sex
balader(inf) - to trail around, to take for a walk
un balaibroom, brush
balbutierto stammer, babble
le balconbalcony
balèzebrawny, strapping
une balisebeacon, buoy, sign
les balivernes (f)nonsense
une balle  bullet, ball, shot
une bananebanana
un bancbench, seat; shoal/school (of fish)
bancaire(adj) bank
bandant(fam adj) - sexy, interesting
une bandeband, strip, bandage, line, group; (inf) - bunch of, pack of
la banlieuesuburbs, outskirts
la banquebank
la baraqueshed, hut, stand, stall; (inf) - shack, digs, dump
le baratin(inf) - sweet talk, chatter
une barbichegoatee
barrerto bar, block, close, cross out
une barrettebarrette
des bas (m)stockings
la base (demaquillage)foundation
le basketbasketball
le baume démêlantconditioner
bavarderto chat, chatter; (inf) - to blab
baverto dribble, to leak; (fam) - to have a hard time
baveux(adj) - dribbly, slobbery, runny, blurry
une bavuresmudge, smear, hitch, flaw
béant(adj) gaping, wide-open
beau(adj) - handsome
beau(adj) - nice out
beaucoupvery much, many, a lot
un beauf(fam) - brother-in-law; small-minded person
Beaujolais nouveau 
becbeak, bill, nib
bée(in bouche bée) open-mouthed
bégayerto stammer, stutter
un béguin(inf) - crush, fancy, also a bonnet
BelgeBelgian
belle(adj) - pretty
bénévole(adj) - volunteer, unpaid
un bénévolevolunteer
bénirto bless, to thank God for
BenjaminBenjamin
le benjaminyoungest child, youngest son
BenoîtBenedict
une béquillecrutch, kick-stand, (nautical) prop, shore
bercerto rock, cradle
la berezinadisaster
berk(inf exclamation) - yuck!
Bernadette 
BernardBernard
bernerto fool, hoax, dupe
BertrandBertrand, Bertram
la besognework, task, job
(avoir) besoin deto need
une bestiolebug, creepy crawler
bête(adj) - stupid, silly, foolish
une bête

animal, insect, creature

une bêtisestupidity, mistake, blunder, silly thing, nonsense 
le bétonconcrete
le beurrebutter
une bévueblunder
un bibelottrinket, knick-knack, curio
un biberonbaby bottle
bicher(inf) - to be pleased with oneself
bichonnerto pamper
une bicyclettebicycle
bidoncan, tin, flask
bidonner(fam) to split one's sides laughing
bidule(inf) contraption, whatsit; what's-his-name
bien

good, moral, right, healthy

bien cuitwell done
bien étrangequite strange
la bièrebeer
le biftecksteak
les bijoux (m)jewelry
un bikinibikini
le bilanassessment, results, balance sheet
un billetticket; bill, note (money)
un billet aller-retourround trip ticket
un billet simpleone-way ticket
biologique(adj) - biological, organic
bisgrayish-brown; (music) repeat; (address) ½, a
le biscuitcookie
(année) bissextileleap (year)
le bizutage(school slang) hazing, ragging
blafardpale, pallid, wan
une blaguejoke, trick, blunder
blancwhite
la blanchisserielaundromat
un blasoncoat of arms, heraldry
un bled(inf, even slang) - village, dump, godforsaken place
blesserto wound, hurt, injure; to offend
bleublue, rare
bleu clairlight blue 
bleu foncédark blue
blocblock, unit, group, pad (of paper)
blond(adj) - blond
un blousonjacket
bluffer(inf) - to bluff, try it on, fool
un bobo(inf, baby language) - boo boo, owie, wound
une bobonne(inf and somewhat archaic) - missus, dearie
boireto drink
le boiswood
une boissondrink
une boîtebox, can; (inf) - nightclub; job, office; school
boiterto limp, to wobble, to be shaky
un bolbowl
bongood
ah bon(interj) - oh really? (not "oh good")
bon appétit !enjoy your meal
les bonbons (m)candy
BonjourHello
Bonne nuitGood night
BonsoirGood evening
Bordeaux 
un bordel(fam) - mess, chaos; (literal) - brothel
borné(adj) - narrow-minded, limited
bosser(inf) - to work, slog, slave away
des bottes (f)boots
le bottindirectory, phonebook, Yellow Pages
boucbilly goat, goatee
la bouchemouth
une bouchéemouthful
boucherto cork, plug, block
un boucherbutcher
la boucheriebutcher shop
bouchoncork, stopper, plug, cap; traffic jam
bouclé(adj) - curly
une boucle d'oreilleearring
un boucliershield
bouderto sulk, keep away from
boudiné(adj) - bursting out of
la bouemud
boufferto be full, have volume, (fam) - to wolf, gobble
bougrement(inf) terribly, really, very
bouillant(adj) boiling, scalding, fiery, hotheaded
un boulanger
une boulangère
baker
la boulangeriebakery
boulot(adj) - chubby, tubby
le boulot(informal) - work, the daily grind
boum(interj) - Boom!, Bang!
un boumbang, tremendous success
une boumparty
un bouquin(inf) - book
bourré(adj) - stuffed, packed; (fam) - drunk, plastered
un bourreautorturer
une bourriquedonkey; (inf) - blockhead, pigheaded person
la boursescholarship, grant; second-hand sale
bousculerto jostle, bump into; to hurry, pressure; to liven up
la boustifaille(fam) - grub, nosh, chow
une bouteillebottle
une boutique hors taxesduty-free
un bouton de manchettecufflink
un boxer-shortboxer shorts
un braceletbracelet
un bracelet à breloquescharm bracelet
brancherto plug in, connect, link up
branlerto shake, waggle; to be shaky, loose, unsteady
braquerto point, aim, turn the steering wheel
le brasarm
brasser

to stir, mix, knead, shuffle; to brew

bravitudefullness of bravery
brebisewe
bref(adv) - in short, to make a long story short
Brésilien(ne)Brazilian
un brevetdiploma, certificate, patent
le bricolagehome improvement, tinkering, DIY; rush/makeshift job
BrigitteBridget
un brinblade, sprig, yarn, a bit
briserto break, smash; ruin, wreck; tire out
une brochebrooch
bronzé(adj) - tan
la brosse à cheveuxhairbrush
la brosse à dentstoothbrush
se brosserto brush
se brosser les cheveuxto brush one's hair
se brosser les dentsto brush one's teeth
brouterto graze, to nibble; (slang) to be annoying
bruinerto drizzle
brûluresburn, burning sensation
brun(adj) - brown (hair, eyes)
Bruno 
brut(adj) - uncut, rough, crude, raw
budrank
la bûchelog
bûcherto slog away at, to swot up; (Canada) to fell, cut down
le bureauoffice, study
le bureau de changemoney exchange
burinerto engrave, chisel
un butgoal, aim, purpose, destination
buterto stumble; (fam) - to bump off, kill

 

French Words That Start With C

Cthe letter C
ça(indefinite demonstrative pronoun) that, it
Cabernet 
une cabine téléphoniquephone booth
Ça bouge ?How's it going?
le cacapoo poo, feces
une cacahouètepeanut, monkey nut
un cache-nezmuffler
un cachettablet, pill; stamp, seal, postmark; style, character
un cadeaupresent
le cadetyoungest child, youngest son
cadreframe, container, box, setting, framework, manager
le cafécoffee
un cahiernotebook
un caissier, unecaissièrecashier
une calculatricecalculator
un caleçonunderwear
le calendriercalendar
calerto wedge, lock; to prop up;
(inf) - to fill up (with food); to give in/up
se calerto plant/settle oneself
calfeutrerto fill, to stop up, to stop drafts
se calfeutrerto shut oneself away, to make oneself snug
un calquetracing, carbon copy, spitting image, loan translation
Camille 
Canadien(ne)Canadian
le canal dentaireroot canal
un canapécouch
cancanerto gossip, to quack
la canicule

scorching heat, heatwave 

la caninecanine tooth
cantonnerto station, quarter, confine
un cap(geography) - cape, point, headland
Capucine(nasturtium)
carburer(fam) - to go, to be
une cariecavity
un carnet de chèquescheckbook
CarolineCaroline
la carottecarrot
Ça roule ?How's it going?
un carrefourcrossroads, junction, intersection, forum (lit and fig)
la cartemap, menu
la carte d'embarquement 
un cartonbox
cartonner

(inf) - to smash into, to do really well/poorly

se casserto break; (inf) - to work at; (fam) - to split, take off
casseurrioter; (fam) burglar; scrap dealer
CatherineCatherine, Katherine
un cauchemarnightmare
causerto cause, (inf) to chat
Ça vaFine
Ça va ?How are you?
Ça va bienI'm doing well
Ça va malNot well
CécileCecilia
une ceinturebelt, cummerbund
le célericelery
Célina 
Céline 
censé(adj) - supposed to
cent100
une cerisecherry
certes(formal adv) - certainly, admittedly, of course
cesserto cease, stop, bring to an end
C'estIt is
c'est-à-direthat is
C'est à votre goût ?Is everything ok?
C'est ... à l'appareil.... is calling.
C'est de la part de ....... is calling.
C'est de la part dequi ?Who is calling?
C'est formidable !It's great!
C'est incroyable !It's incredible!
C'est quoi 
C'est terminé 
C'était magnifique !It was wonderful!
cette phrase 
Chablis 
une chaîne stéréostereo
une chaisechair
un châleshawl
chaleureux(adj) - warm, hearty
la chambrebedroom
un champfield, area (literally and figuratively)
Champagne 
le champignonmushroom
change 
changer 
Chantal 
le chantierbuilding site, job site, depot; (inf) - shambles, mess
Chapeau !(interj) - Well done! Congrats!
un chapeauhat, introductory paragraph
le charabia(inf) - gibberish, gobbledygook
la charcuteriepork butcher
chargerto load, overload; to put in charge of
chariot 
CharlesCharles
CharlotCharlie
CharlotteCharlotte
charnière(adj) - turning (point), transitional, linking
charnu 
un charpentiercarpenter
charrierto cart along, carry; (inf) - to kid; (fam) - to go too far
la chassehunting
châtain(adj) - brown (hair)
Chateua neuf du pape 
châtierto refine, perfect; (religion) - to chasten, mortify; (literary) - to punish
chatouillerto tickle
chaud(adj) - hot
chaud froid 
chausserto put shoes on, to fit
des chaussettes (f)socks
des chaussures (f)shoes
des chaussures à hauts talons (f)high-heeled shoes
un(e) chefcook
une chemiseshirt; file folder
une chemise de nuitnightgown
un chemisierblouse
Chenin 
chèque 
chéri(e)dear, sweetheart 
le chevethead of the bed, bedside
les cheveuxhair
une chevilleankle; dowel, peg, hook
chevronné(adj) - seasoned, experienced
chez(prep) - at the home/office of; in the work/mind of; among
chez elleat her house
chez moiat my house
une chiffespineless or weak person; (archaic) - rag, old cloth
Chinois(e), le chinoisChinese
un chiotpuppy
le chocolatchocolate
le chocolat chaudhot chocolate
le chômageunemployment
choper

(fam) - to pinch, nick, steal; to catch 

choquerto shock, appall, offend; to shake up
le choucabbage, also a term of endearment
chouette  (inf adj) - cute, smashing, nice
une chouetteowl
le chou-fleurcauliflower
chouïa(informal) tiny bit, smidgin
Christelle 
Christian 
Christiane 
ChristineChristine
ChristopheChristopher
chuchoterto whisper, murmur
chutefall, waterfall, collapse/downfall, loss
une cibletarget, goal, purpose
ci-joint(adv in correspondence) - enclosed, attached
le cinémamovie theater
le cinoche(inf) - the pictures, movies
cinq5
cinquante50
circulerto go, move
citerto quote, cite; to use as an example; summon (law)
un citronlemon
le citron pressélemonade
un citron vertlime
ClaireClaire, Clara
classe 
classe touriste 
un classeurbinder, filing cabinet
ClaudeClaude, Claudia
ClaudineClaudia
un clébard(inf, pejorative) - mutt, hound, dog 
la clef (or clé)key; spanner, wrench; (music) - peg, clef
Clémence(clemency)
le clignotantturn signal
clocherto be defective, to have something wrong
un clochersteeple
clounail, stud, boil, highlight/star attraction
club 
Cognac 
coifferto do someone's hair
se coifferto do one's own hair, to put something on one's head
coincé(adj) - stuck; (inf) - unable to act; hung up, inhibited
la colère(fit of) anger, rage
Colette 
un colisparcel, package
un collantpantyhose, tights
colle 
un collègehigh school
collerto stick, glue; (inf) - to shove; (pej) - to give; to fail, catch out
un colliernecklace
collision 
coltinerto carry, lug around
Combien coûte ... ?How much does ... cost?
une combinaisonslip
comble(adj) - full, packed
le combleheight (figurative); last straw; roof trussing/timbers
commanderto order
comme ci, comme çaSo-so
commenthow
Comment ?What?
Comment allez-vous ?How are you?
Comment cela s'écritHow do you spell that?
Comment ça va ?How are you?
Comment dit-on ... en français ?How do you say ___ in French?
Comment est-il ?What's he like?
Comment t'appelles-tu ?What's your name?
Comment vas-tu ?How are you?
Comment vous appelez-vous ?What's your name?
le commissariatpolice station
une commodedresser
compagnie 
completno vacancy
composer un numéroto dial a number
un comprimé(medicine) pill, tablet
un comptecount, amount; account
un compte-chèqueschecking account / cheque account
compter 
concept 
le concombrecucumber
un conducteurdriver
conduireto drive
la confiseriecandy store
la confiturejam
confondreto confuse, mix up; astound
conformément(adv) in accordance (with), according (to), in order to conform with/match
confortable(adj) - comfortable *But not for people, use à l'aisé
confus(adj) - embarrassed, ashamed
le congéholiday, vacation, leave; (job) notice
conjoint(adj) - joint, linked, related
un/e conjoint/espouse
connaître la musique 
un connard(familiar) - idiot, jerk, schmuck
consacrerto devote, dedicate; establish, sanction
ConstanceConstance
constaterto note, notice, record, certify
une contrepartie

compensation, exchange 

contrôle de sécurité 
convoiterto covet, lust after
cool(inf) - cool
un copain(inf) - mate, buddy, boyfriend
une copinegirlfriend
coq 
une coqueluche(figurative) darling, sweetheart, idol
une coquilleshell (literally and figuratively)
coquin(adj) - mischievous, malicious; risqué, racy
un(e) coquina mischievous or malicious child
Corinne 
le corpsbody
une corvée

chore, drudgery; military duty; (in Canada) - volunteer work

cossu(adj) well-off, opulent
un costard(inf) - man's suit
costaud(inf adj) - sturdy, strong
un costaudstrong man, something strong (e.g., alcohol, house)
un costumesuit
côtoyerto be next to, rub shoulders with; to move alongside; (fig) - to be close to
le couneck
le coudeelbow
coulerto flow, run
les couleurscolors
le couloirhall
coup de feu 
courageux(adj) - brave
couronne 
le courrielemail
courrier 
le courrier arrivéinbox
le courrier départoutbox
un courscourse
court(adj) - short
un cousinmale cousin
une cousinefemale cousin
un couteauknife
une craiechalk
un crapaudtoad; flaw (in a gem); (inf) - brat, child
crapoter(inf) - to smoke without inhaling, ~ to puff
une cravatetie
un crayonpencil
crédit 
la crèmecream
la crème à rasershaving cream
la crème brûléecustard
la crème caramelflan
la crème fraîchevery thick cream
la crème hydratantemoisturizer
un créneauparallel parking space; gap, niche, slot
un creuxhollow, hole; slack period
crevé(adj) - punctured, burst; (fam) - exhausted
criant(adj) - blatant, striking, shocking
crise cardiaque 
crisperto tense, to get on someone's nerves
le croissantcroissant
une cuillèrespoon
une cuillère à soupetablespoon
une cuillère à théteaspoon
la cuisinekitchen, cooking
une cuisinièrestove
culotté(inf adj) - cheeky, sassy
la cupiditégreed

une cuve

vat, tank
le cyclismebiking