We use a lot of words in English whose origins lie elsewhere.

Just English

Over the centuries the English language has assimilated words and phrases from a variety of other languages. In context, those listed here are often printed in italics.

A

ab initio

Latin from the beginning
a cappella Italian sung without instrumental accompaniment (literally ‘in chapel style’)
à deux French for or involving two people
ad hoc Latin made or done for a particular purpose (literally ‘to this’)
ad infinitum Latin endlessly; forever (literally ‘to infinity’)
ad interim Latin for the meantime
ad nauseam Latin to a tiresomely excessive degree (literally ‘to sickness’)
a fortiori Latin more conclusively (literally ‘from a stronger [argument]’)
agent provocateur French a person who tempts a suspected criminal to commit a crime so that they can be caught and convicted (literally ‘provocative agent’)
à huis clos French in private (literally ‘with closed doors’)
al dente Italian (of food) cooked so as to be still firm when…

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