bon mot

\ bōⁿ-ˈmō How to pronounce bon mot (audio) \
plural bons mots\ bōⁿ-​ˈmō(z) How to pronounce bons mots (audio) \ or bon mots\ bōⁿ-​ˈmō(z) How to pronounce bon mots (audio) \

Definition of bon mot

: a clever remark : witticism his bons mots were being repeated … from coast to coast— W. J. Fisher

Examples of bon mot in a Sentence

She had a sparkling bon mot for every occasion.

Recent Examples on the Web

But Leon was always trying to play the role of the liberal Zionist, above certain arguments, attentive to means as well as ends, fond of the bon mot and the elegant phrase. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "If We Want to End the Border Crisis, It’s Time to Give Trump His Wall," 22 June 2018 The charming and archly witty Love & Friendship (imagine Downton Abbey with just Maggie Smith) is a reminder, among other things, of Kate Beckinsale's way with a corset and a bon mot. Mary Kaye Schilling, Town & Country, "Whit Stillman On Directing Jane Austen," 27 Apr. 2016 Throughout, Blanchett maintained a steady stream of bon mots. Anna Silman, The Cut, "The Ocean’s 8 Cast All Worship Cate Blanchett," 22 May 2018 Robinson relaxes the farce into drawing-room comedy and populates it with passably clever people who have much deeper concerns than the strategic deployment of bons mots. Justin Hayford, Chicago Reader, "A new production of An Ideal Husband humanizes Oscar Wilde," 13 Apr. 2018 Helping to keep the whole operation running — with humor, grace, and bons mots — is Kick's 84-year-old grandmother, Ethel Kennedy, the reigning Kennedy matriarch, who lives in RFK's old house. Hudson Morgan, Town & Country, "Camelot Continued: Kick Kennedy's Private Tour of the Family Compound," 25 Dec. 2012 Going a step beyond Churchill’s bon mot, this is not the beginning of the end, nor the end of the beginning. Robert Graboyes, National Review, "Seven Suggestions for the Amazon-Berkshire-JP Morgan Health Project," 13 Feb. 2018 Deep thoughts, cheap shots & bon mots ... Joe Lacob and Bob Myers blew it. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, "Belichick, like Bonds, might cheat himself out of Hall," 3 Feb. 2018 While their bon mots are unmatched, Sags must remember to keep their sharp tongues in check. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "The Personality of a Sagittarius, Explained," 2 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bon mot.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bon mot

1713, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bon mot

French, literally, good word

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Time Traveler for bon mot

The first known use of bon mot was in 1713

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bon mot


English Language Learners Definition of bon mot

formal : a clever remark

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