bon·​ho·​mie | \ ˌbä-nə-ˈmē How to pronounce bonhomie (audio) , ˌbō- \

Definition of bonhomie

: good-natured easy friendliness an undying bonhomie radiated from her— Jean Stafford

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from bonhomie

bonhomous \ ˈbä-​nə-​məs How to pronounce bonhomie (audio) \ adjective

Did You Know?

English speakers borrowed bonhomie from the French, where the word was created from bonhomme, which means "good-natured man" and is itself a composite of two other French words: bon, meaning "good," and homme, meaning "man." That French compound traces to two Latin terms, bonus (meaning "good") and homo (meaning either "man" or "human being"). English speakers have warmly embraced bonhomie and its meaning, but we have also anglicized the pronunciation in a way that may make native French speakers cringe. (We hope they will be good-natured about it!)

Examples of bonhomie in a Sentence

the bonhomie of strangers singing together around a campfire
Recent Examples on the Web The Europeans’ decision to overlook objections from the Biden camp was an indication that relations with the United States will not automatically snap back to the relative bonhomie that prevailed during the Obama administration. New York Times, "China and E.U. Leaders Strike Investment Deal, but Political Hurdles Await," 30 Dec. 2020 Capote picked a few charms from each woman and mixed, rendering the character in full with Carol’s whispery translucence, Gloria’s imaginative fancies, Marguerite’s bubbling bonhomie, and Doris looking spritely advantageous. Callahan Tormey, Town & Country, "Who Was the Real Holly Golightly?," 28 Dec. 2020 Rainey is late to the session, but the musicians, with their easygoing bonhomie, are unfazed. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "‘Ma Rainey’ a triumph for Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman," 17 Dec. 2020 But this salt-of-the-earth bonhomie soon begins to feel facile as we're seemingly barred from seeing any part of him that isn't hopelessly endearing. Robyn Bahr, Billboard, "'Shawn Mendes: In Wonder': Film Review," 23 Nov. 2020 For all his bonhomie, Trump has little to show in terms of denuclearization. NBC News, "Biden differs from Trump on North Korea, but Kim's nukes are most likely here to stay," 11 Nov. 2020 The bonhomie at the event did little to mask Trump’s political struggles. David Nakamura, Washington Post, "As economy reels from pandemic, Trump and Mexican president mark start of 3-nation trade pact," 8 July 2020 But the bonhomie masks trade tensions between the two nations, which struggled to sign even a modest agreement before Trump’s visit. Rosalind Mathieson,, "A Decades-Old Power Struggle Comes to a Boil," 29 Apr. 2020 Shelby later switched parties and now chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee as a Republican, which, given Biden’s longing for bipartisan Senate bonhomie, could be another point in Sewell’s favor. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, "Why Joe Biden Might Choose Terri Sewell for Vice President," 23 Apr. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of bonhomie

1777, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bonhomie

French bonhomie, from bonhomme good-natured man, from bon good + homme man

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bonhomie

Time Traveler for bonhomie

Time Traveler

The first known use of bonhomie was in 1777

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about bonhomie

Statistics for bonhomie

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bonhomie.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bonhomie


How to pronounce bonhomie (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bonhomie

formal : a feeling of friendliness among a group of people

More from Merriam-Webster on bonhomie

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bonhomie

Comments on bonhomie

What made you want to look up bonhomie? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!