Definition of bona fide
- a bona fide proposal
- a bona fide offer to buy a farm
She has established her position as a bona fide celebrity.
His latest record was a bona fide hit.
They have a bona fide claim for the loss.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bona fide.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Bona fide means "in good faith" in Latin. When applied to business deals and the like, it stresses the absence of fraud or deception. A bona fide sale of securities is an entirely aboveboard transaction. Outside of business and law, bona fide implies mere sincerity and earnestness. A bona fide promise is one that the person has every intention of keeping. A bona fide proposal of marriage is one made by a suitor who isn't kidding around. Bona fide also has the noun form bona fides; when someone asks about someone else's bona fides, it usually means evidence of their qualifications or achievements.
First Known Use: 1632See Words from the same year
: real or genuine
law : made or done in an honest and sincere way
What made you want to look up bona fide? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Confusing Words—A Quiz