je ne sais quoi

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je ne sais quoi

A positive or pleasant quality that is difficult to define. This French phrase translates to "I don't know what" in English. She had a certain je ne sais quoi that men found quite attractive.
See also: Ne

ˌje ne sais ˈquoi

/%Z@ n@ seI "kwA:/ (from French, often humorous) a good quality that is difficult to describe: He has that je ne sais quoi that distinguishes a professional from an amateur.It has a certain je ne sais quoi that really appeals to me.
The meaning of the French phrase is ‘I do not know what’.
See also: Ne
References in periodicals archive ?
she] something special about her: a je ne sais quoi.
The execution," as Delacroix said, "adds to the thought" and the element of risk or impromptu modification that enters into Frize's paintings confers on them a je ne sais quoi that escapes the narrative of their genesis.
Mr Brown does have an impressive stage presence, a je ne sais quoi that allowed to him to hold his adoring fans in the palm of his hand.
A musky odour may produce either a je ne sais quoi of disgust, or on the contrary, one of attraction and appreciation.
What a strange celebrity culture is generated by fetishizing "creative talent," a je ne sais quoi quality Dalton rightly diagnos es as equal parts brilliant spirit and sexy vibe.