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bon ton

[bon ton; French bawn tawn]
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noun
  1. good or elegant form or style.
  2. something regarded as fashionably correct: The bon ton in this circle is to dress well and know influential people.
  3. fashionable society.

Origin of bon ton

1765–75; < French: literally, good tone. See boon2, tone
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bon ton

Historical Examples

  • Oh, bright divinity, why hide those radiant charms in sylvan shades, when charms of fashion and bon-ton beckon you away!

    The Art of Amusing

    Frank Bellew

  • Lonely in his selfishness was he left to breathe out the small soul of a man of bon-ton!

    Godolphin, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Shelby drifted back to the main street and found the Bon-Ton Grocery where it had been when he deserted the wagon.

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

  • Emmerich was not a common mender of "old soles," but was the shoemaker to the bon-ton of Baltimore.

    Between the Lines

    Henry Bascom Smith

  • Who entered here, though his brow were tall and his spirit strong, left his bon-ton behind.


British Dictionary definitions for bon ton

bon ton

noun literary
  1. sophisticated manners or breeding
  2. fashionable society

Word Origin

literally: good tone
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