bon·​ho·​mie ˌbä-nə-ˈmē How to pronounce bonhomie (audio)
: good-natured easy friendliness
an undying bonhomie radiated from herJean Stafford
bonhomous adjective

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English speakers borrowed bonhomie from 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 In September 2023, Kim Jong Un visited the Russian Far East and met with Putin amid rediscovered bonhomie. Sergey Radchenko, NPR, 19 June 2024 This bonhomie, however, did not produce any real change in Beijing’s foreign policy. Praveen Donthi, Foreign Affairs, 4 June 2024 The oldest kid, Fred Jr. (Charlie Carrick), already an alcoholic but also possessing a natural bonhomie Donald lacks, bears the brunt of dad’s ire. Bilge Ebiri, Vulture, 21 May 2024 Lamont earned his bonhomie through prudence and upholding the 2017 budget restraints a bipartisan legislature enacted. Kevin Rennie, Hartford Courant, 10 Feb. 2024 See all Example Sentences for bonhomie 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bonhomie.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1777, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bonhomie was in 1777


Dictionary Entries Near bonhomie

Cite this Entry

“Bonhomie.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

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