What It Means
: a sociable person who has cultivated and refined tastes especially with respect to food and drink
bon vivant in Context
"The Major was somewhat of a bon vivant, and his wine was excellent." — Sir Walter Scott, Waverley, 1814
"The Swiss-born chef and bon vivant saw life through rose-colored beer glasses, preferring to keep negativity at bay by drinking, eating, laughing, loving and yodeling." — Mike Hale, The Monterey (California) County Herald, 4 Sept. 2019
Did You Know?
Fans of fine French wine and cuisine won't be surprised to hear that the French language gave us a number of words for those who enjoy good living and good eating. Gourmet, gourmand, and gastronome come from French, as does bon vivant. In the late 17th century, English-speakers borrowed this French phrase, which literally means "good liver." No, we don't mean liver, as in the organ. We mean liver, as in "one who lives (in a specified way)"—in this case, "one who lives well."
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