bon vivant

bon vi·​vant | \ ˌbän-vē-ˈvänt How to pronounce bon vivant (audio) , ˌbōⁿ-vē-ˈväⁿ How to pronounce bon vivant (audio) \
plural bons vivants\ ˌbän-​vē-​ˈvän(t)s How to pronounce bons vivants (audio) , ˌbōⁿ-​vē-​ˈväⁿ(z) \ or bon vivants\ ˌbän-​vē-​ˈvän(t)s How to pronounce bon vivants (audio) , ˌbōⁿ-​vē-​ˈväⁿ(z) \

Definition of bon vivant

: a sociable person who has cultivated and refined tastes especially with respect to food and drink She has become a bon vivant since moving to the city.

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Did You Know?

Fans of fine French wine and cuisine won't be surprised to hear that the French language gave us a number of words for those who enjoy good living and good eating. Gourmet, gourmand, and gastronome come from French, as does bon vivant. In the late 17th century, English speakers borrowed this French phrase, which literally means "good liver." No, we don't mean liver, as in that iron-rich food your mother made you eat. We mean liver, as in "one who lives" - in this case, "one who lives well."

Examples of bon vivant in a Sentence

In addition to being a renowned travel writer, he was a bon vivant who loves to hold dinner parties and serve exquisite, elaborate meals.
Recent Examples on the Web Outside, Orchard Street was gloomy with evening shadows; the sidewalks, usually crowded with bons vivants waiting for tables, were empty. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, "The Chefs Behind Contra and Wildair Reincarnate," 1 May 2020 The actor plays the infamous icon impressively through his descent into madness, from Hollywood filmmaker and airborne bon vivant to eccentric OCD recluse later in life. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "'The Basketball Diaries' turns 25: Every Leonardo DiCaprio movie, definitively ranked," 20 Apr. 2020 His father was his usual bon vivant self, Bert remembers. CNN, "Coronavirus preys on what terrifies us: dying alone," 29 Mar. 2020 David Anthony Smith is brilliant as Andrew Wyke, a bon vivant, game loving, whiskey swilling, mystery writer of a certain age. Laura Demarco, cleveland, "Great Lakes Theater’s ‘Sleuth’ at Playhouse Square a winning, wickedly fun thriller (review)," 21 Feb. 2020 With the Country Club of Mobile as his canvas, Carnival bon vivant Ron Barrett once again outdid himself, framing Leading Lady Monnie Slaton with lovely lanterns and an elaborate fire pit. al, "Masked Observer seeks a danceable beat with Condes and Dragons," 12 Feb. 2020 Germans are lonely, the bon vivant French are lonely, and even the Scandinavians — the happiest people in the world, according to the UN’s World Happiness Report — are lonely, too. Dennis Prager, National Review, "Why Are So Many Young People Unhappy?," 21 Jan. 2020 The 56-year-old bon vivant is the daughter of a Serbian princess; cousin to the British royal family, and sister of the Hollywood actress, Catherine Oxenberg. Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, "Christina Oxenberg Is Related to Royalty and Hollywood Stars—And She Is Ready to Tell All Her Stories," 19 Dec. 2019 Gwynne, a scion of the Vanderbilt family and brother to the notorious socialite Kiki Preston, was a bon vivant with a literary bent. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, "The Perfect Thanksgiving Cocktail Is the Boulevardier," 25 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bon vivant.' 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 vivant

1674, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bon vivant

French, literally, good liver

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The first known use of bon vivant was in 1674

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Cite this Entry

“Bon vivant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for bon vivant

bon vivant

How to pronounce bon vivant (audio) How to pronounce bon vivant (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bon vivant

formal : a person who likes going to parties and other social occasions and who enjoys good food, wine, etc.

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bon vivant

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