• synonyms


[bon; French bawn]
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  1. Cape, a cape on the NE coast of Tunisia: surrender of the German African forces, May 12, 1943.
Also called Ras Addar.


  1. an annual festival of the Japanese Buddhists, welcoming ancestral spirits to household altars.

Origin of Bon2

< Japanese, orig. Urabon < Chinese version of Sanskrit ullambana literally, hanging upside down (a metaphor for the suffering brought on by physical desires)
Also called Feast of Lanterns.


  1. a shamanistic Tibetan sect, absorbed by the first Buddhist sects of the 7th century and later.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bon

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "Well, then, I'll marry the bon Dieu" I answered, and my voice was quite resolute now.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • He is not, however, bound, bon fide to hear all that is said.

  • "Bon jour, monsieur," said the captain in a tone of obnoxious pleasantry.

  • I heard every note, and thought the trees and the brook were enjoying a duo, and—Bon Dieu!


    James Huneker

  • The French Canadians often contract "bonne" and "bon" in this way.

British Dictionary definitions for bon


  1. Also called: Feast of Lanterns, Festival of Lanterns an annual festival celebrated by Japanese Buddhists
    1. the pre-Buddhist priests of Tibet or one such priest
    2. their religion

Word Origin

from Japanese bon, originally Urabon, from Sanskrit ullambana hanging upside down


  1. Cape Bon a peninsula of NE Tunisia
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bon

French, literally "good" (adj.), from Latin bonus "good" (see bene-). It has crossed the Channel in phrases such as bon apétit (1860), literally "good appetite;" bon-ton (1744) "good style;" bon mot.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper