A certain number of foreign words, or words originating in other languages, have been adopted into the English language over the centuries. Many of them come from French and Italian which both derive from Latin, others from Greek, German, Spanish, Japanese and so on. Here are some examples:

ExpressionOriginMeaning
agendaLatinList of things to be done.
a la carteFrenchDishes that can be ordered separately, not the set menu.
alfrescoItalianOutdoors, in the open air.
alibiLatinProof that someone suspected of a crime was in another place at the time it happened.
antennaLatin1)A transducer which converts electrical power into electromagnetic waves and vice versa.
2) Feeler or horn of an insect.
au pairFrenchYoung foreign girl who helps in a home with the housework and the children
balletFrench and ItalianAn artistic dance performed to music using precise steps and gestures.
ballerinaItalianA woman who is a ballet dancer.
bete noireFrenchA person or thing disliked or dreaded, or something that annoys you intensely.
caféFrench‘Café’ means ‘coffee’ in French and refers to a coffee shop.
carte blancheFrenchHave full powers; complete freedom to act.
casinoItalianA building where gambling games are played.
chef d’oeuvreFrenchA masterpiece, especially when referring to art.
confettiItalianLittle pieces of coloured paper thrown during a celebration such as a wedding.
coup d’etatFrenchA sudden overthrow of a government by the army.
crecheFrenchChild care centre or nursery.
croissantFrenchA flaky crescent-shaped roll or pastry.
delicatessenGermanA shop where you can find ready-to-eat products such as cooked meats and salads etc.
entrepreneurFrenchA person who starts their own company.
extravaganzaItalianA lavish or spectacular show, event or performance.
faux-pasFrenchA social mistake or blunder.
femme fataleFrenchAn attractive and seductive woman.
fiascoItalianA complete failure.
genreFrenchCategory, type or style e.g. music or literature.
glitchGermanSmall problem or fault that prevents something from being successful.
grafittiItalianA writing or drawing on to a public surface such as a wall.
grotesqueFrench and ItalianOdd, exaggerated or unnatural in appearance, shape or character.
guerillaSpanishAn irregular, independent armed force.
karaokeJapaneseSing along with the tune of a popular song while reading the lyrics from a screen.
karateJapaneseA martial art that originated in Japan.
kindergartenGermanNursery school for children before they start elementary school.
lingerieFrenchWomen’s underwear or sleepwear.
machoSpanishArrogantly virile or have an exaggerated sense of power or the right to dominate.
nouveau richeFrenchPeople who have recently become wealthy; newly rich.
origamiJapaneseThe art of folding small pieces of paper in order to form them into interesting shapes.
paparazziItalianFreelance photographers who pursue celebrities.
partisanFrench and ItalianStrong supporter of a party, cause or faction.
parvenuFrenchWealthy or important person from obscure origins or a low social position.
patioSpanishA paved or concrete leisure area adjoining a house.
pergolaItalianAn arch or structure in a garden for climbing plants.
plazaSpanishA public open area in a town or city, also called a “square”.
propagandaLatinMisleading or biased information used to promote a cause.
renaissanceFrenchWord meaning “rebirth” used to describe the historical period between 1300 and 1600.
rendez-vousFrenchAn arrangement to meet someone.
siestaSpanishA nap or a rest during the day, usually in the early afternoon.
soloItalianDone or performed by one person alone.
stilettoItalianA woman’s shoe with a thin high heel.
terracottaItalianA type of fired clay that is brownish-red in colour
tsunamiJapaneseA gigantic sea wave that is usually caused by an earthquake.