Peu à peu

Peu à peu
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Progressive French Expression

Meaning little by little, bit by bit, gradually
Literally little to little
Register normal
Pronunciation French sound files [peu ah peu]
IPA   [pø a pø]

Usage notes: The adverbial expression peu à peu describes an evolution without clearly distinguishable steps or phases.

Par exemple…

Le soleil se couche, peu à peu.   The sun is setting, little by little.
Peu à peu, la situation s’améliore.   The situation is getting better, bit by bit.
L’eau monte peu à peu.   The water is gradually rising.

French lesson plans Peu à peu in action

Examples of peu à peu in real-life videos from Lawless French Immersion:

Peu à peu, c’est la langue parlée près de Paris qui se répand   Little by little, it was the language spoken near Paris that spread
Video: How was the French language born?
Ces auberges, commerces de bouche prennent peu à peu l’appellation de bouchons   These inns and food shops gradually took the name of bouchons
Video: Lyon’s gastronomy: the bouchons
Longtemps interdite, la grève a peu à peu été autorisée par la loi.   Prohibited for a long time, striking was gradually authorized by the law.
Video: What is a strike?
Et alors j’ai décidé peu à peu de voir ….   And then I decided bit by bit to watch ….
Video: Costa Gavras: cinema as a way of writing
Peu à peu, l’éducation s’impose ….   Bit by bit, education is becoming ….
Video: Brigitte Macron explains her role as French First Lady


  • doucement
  • graduellement
  • insensiblement
  • progressivement

 Peu à peu vs Petit à petit

In contrast to peu à peu, the expression petit à petit is used when the process is made up of a series of distinct steps.

 Related lesson

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Peu à peu

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