bon·​ho·​mie | \ˌbä-nə-ˈmē, ˌbō-\

Definition of bonhomie 

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

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Other Words from bonhomie

bonhomous \ˈbä-​nə-​məs \ adjective

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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

Whether this photo-op summitry achieved anything beyond the bonhomie is a lot less clear. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Promises, Nuclear Promises," 12 June 2018 For all the warmth and bonhomie, misgivings are percolating under the surface over Iran, where Israel sees Trump’s efforts to crack down on the Jewish state’s archenemy as lacking. Washington Post, "Trump dangles Israel trip for new embassy; mum on peace plan," 5 Mar. 2018 May, who has sought a warm relationship with Trump amid difficulties, has planned an elaborate trip in a bid to build bonhomie. Seung Min Kim, Washington Post, "After disparaging his hosts, Trump meets with Theresa May," 13 July 2018 The revival's first season changed the formula, injecting an explicit sense of nurturing and bonhomie into the equation. Daniel D'addario,, "Review: 'Queer Eye' Season 2 on Netflix," 7 June 2018 But some Russians are already warning about the dangers of excessive bonhomie. David Scharfenberg,, "Innovation of the Week: Smiling lessons in Russia," 22 June 2018 Naturally, that made them outlaw heroes, but the group has a punk-rock bonhomie and some invigorating music to back it up. August Brown,, "A farewell concert for 03 Greedo? While the courts decide, fans turn out for a big night of L.A. rap," 17 June 2018 This reticence did little to dampen the bonhomie of the crowds. John Leland, New York Times, "Clouds Over Manhattanhenge," 30 May 2018 Xi and his guest struck a series of poses that suggested bonhomie and goodwill between the leaders of the world’s two most populous countries. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "Modi Signals Weakness by Making Nice With China’s Xi," 3 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of bonhomie

1779, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bonhomie

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

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bonheur du jour





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Time Traveler for bonhomie

The first known use of bonhomie was in 1779

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English Language Learners Definition of bonhomie

: a feeling of friendliness among a group of people

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


a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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