Definition of jeu d'esprit in English:

jeu d'esprit

nounplural noun jeux d'esprit/ˌZHə dəˈsprē/ /ˌZHœ/ /ˌʒə dəˈspri/

  • A lighthearted display of wit and cleverness, especially in a work of literature.

    ‘there is a misconception that the works of Agatha Christie are simply popular jeux d'esprit’
    • ‘If one regards it simply as a jeu d'esprit it is all very pleasant, but as a real contribution to the literature of the sky-scraper it has no value.’
    • ‘It is not exactly a jeu d'esprit but it does have a certain 'occasional' character, and cannot really be regarded as a major work by Dummett.’
    quip, witticism, gem, play on words, jest, pun, sally, nice turn of phrase

Pronunciation

jeu d'esprit

/ˌZHə dəˈsprē/ /ˌZHœ/ /ˌʒə dəˈspri/

Origin

French, literally ‘game of the mind’.