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

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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

Such intergenerational bonhomie used to be unheard of in men’s tennis. Kevin Craft, The Atlantic, "What the Men Can Learn From the Women at Wimbledon," 2 July 2019 Hootie was forged in the fire of resistance, not bonhomie. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "Hootie & the Blowfish, Great American Rock Band (Yes, Really)," 6 June 2019 The Boston Pride finally arrived and, with less bonhomie, shellacked the Riveters, 7-1. Seth Berkman, New York Times, "Riveters’ Core Four Leads Way to First N.W.H.L. Championship," 25 Mar. 2018 Inside the court, Marshall brought his brethren together with the force of his will and a spirit of bonhomie. Adam J. White, WSJ, "‘John Marshall’ Review: Chief Among Equals," 30 Nov. 2018 Beneath the new bonhomie in the official accounts of Mr. Kim’s trip, the edgy nature of the seven-decade-old China-North Korea relationship was still apparent. Jane Perlez, New York Times, "Kim Jong-un’s China Visit Strengthens His Hand in Nuclear Talks," 28 Mar. 2018 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

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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Dictionary Entries near bonhomie



bonheur du jour





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Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for bonhomie

The first known use of bonhomie was in 1777

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English Language Learners Definition of bonhomie

formal : a feeling of friendliness among a group of people

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