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 bon vivant (audio) , ˌbōⁿ-​vē-​ˈväⁿ(z) \ or bon vivants\ ˌbän-​vē-​ˈvän(t)s How to pronounce bon vivant (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.

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 the organ. We mean liver, as in "one who lives (in a specified way)"—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 Several current and former Caroline Church parishioners interviewed for this article remember Father Wancura as something of an eccentric bon vivant. New York Times, 4 Feb. 2022 Like much of her work from the 1980s, it was dedicated to the memory of her mother, fashion designer and bon vivant Mme Willi Posey (Momma Jones, as my sister and I knew her). Michele Wallace, Town & Country, 25 Jan. 2022 Many come for superb skiing or other recreation like cross-country skiing, tobogganing and winter hiking, while others simply come to slow down and enjoy the quaint yet bon vivant lifestyle amongst spectacular scenic beauty. Spencer Elliott, Forbes, 4 Nov. 2021 Give it to the bon vivant and forever-young spirit. Adam Hurly, Robb Report, 21 Oct. 2021 Owner and bon vivant Joy Malinowski, who has a strong personal aesthetic and a background in art, restored the property about seven years ago. Sheri Castle, Travel + Leisure, 4 Sep. 2021 Keith, whose restrictive religious upbringing resulted in an aggressively foul mouth, typically holds court as the resident bon vivant. Sean Malin, Vulture, 13 Aug. 2021 At its heart is a love triangle between three roommates: the free-spirited bon vivant Berger; hard-core protester Sheila, whose love for Berger is unrequited; and Claude, who secretly loves Sheila and is conflicted over whether to serve in Vietnam. San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Aug. 2021 The third, and shaggiest, traces the journalistic adventures of a gay Black writer and bon vivant (played with some louche wit by Jeffrey Wright) clearly modeled on James Baldwin — minus any of Baldwin’s political vigor and vinegar. Guy Lodge, Los Angeles Times, 12 July 2021 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

28 Mar 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bon vivant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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