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

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Other Words from bonhomie

bonhomous \ ˈbä-​nə-​məs How to pronounce bonhomous (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 RuPaul, a well of warmth, cultivates natural bonhomie with the young actress, who plays AJ with alternating brattiness and protectiveness. Robyn Bahr, The Hollywood Reporter, "'AJ and the Queen': TV Review," 10 Jan. 2020 As the lawmakers waited to sign, there were flashes of bipartisan bonhomie. Lindsay Wise, WSJ, "Trump Impeachment Trial Begins as Senators Are Sworn In," 16 Jan. 2020 The bonhomie between her and her successors is palpable — a rare sort of relationship between old and new owners. Shanna Farrell,, "700 Santa Claus dolls, connecting the past to the present in a Hayes Valley bar," 20 Dec. 2019 Amid the bonhomie at Elliott Tree Farm, millennials are putting a modern twist on the ancient ritual of cutting down conifers. The Christian Science Monitor, "Keeping homeless people in mental view," 20 Dec. 2019 The drinks that are poured add to the sense of bonhomie. Peter Marks, Washington Post, "A bar. An actor. And if you’re lucky, a drink.," 12 Sep. 2019 The atmosphere on the first day, beneath a surface bonhomie, was tense. Simon Akam, Outside Online, "You Won’t Pass Chamonix’s Mountain Guiding Test," 27 Nov. 2019 Johnson shrugs off these fears with his usual bonhomie. Samuel Earle, The New Republic, "The White Cliffs of Brexit," 22 Oct. 2019 Between riffs on their instruments, each player rhapsodized about what they’d be eating for dinner, the piece capturing the bonhomie that exists between two Chicago musicians who nearly can be regarded as institutions in their own right. Howard Reich,, "Jazz Fest review: Cecile McLorin Salvant tops an exuberant weekend," 1 Sep. 2019

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

1777, 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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Time Traveler for bonhomie

Time Traveler

The first known use of bonhomie was in 1777

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Last Updated

4 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bonhomie.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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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

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bonhomie

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