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bon ton

[bon ton; French bawn tawn] /ˈbɒn ˈtɒn; French bɔ̃ ˈtɔ̃/
good or elegant form or style.
something regarded as fashionably correct:
The bon ton in this circle is to dress well and know influential people.
fashionable society.
Origin of bon ton
1765-75; < French: literally, good tone. See boon2, tone Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bon ton
Historical Examples
  • Is my philosophic Plato so soon metamorphosed to a bon ton enamarato?

    Alonzo and Melissa Daniel Jackson, Jr.
  • Always irregular, no issue of the bon ton has appeared of late.

    Woman as Decoration

    Emily Burbank
  • Harry's dad owns most of the bon ton, but it's Harry who runs it and gives it the pep.

    Main Street Sinclair Lewis
  • Tell me about your plan for getting a partnership in the bon ton.

    Main Street Sinclair Lewis
  • Minos is a sour old gentleman, without the least smattering of the bon ton, and I am in a fright for you.

    Dialogues of the Dead Lord Lyttelton
  • The other cousin—who was also the elder—was far too much swamped in bon ton to please Highland lads such as we were.

  • I was soon able to ape the vapid dictates of those who called themselves the élite and the bon ton.

    Confessions of a Neurasthenic William Taylor Marrs
  • Neither of these men had the bel air, the bon ton, the je ne scais quoy.

    Roundabout Papers William Makepeace Thackeray
  • It is not bon ton to be learned, but it is a graceful thing to indicate that you have forgotten a good deal.

    Rodney Stone Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Fads for the latest personal accoutrements gripped the bon ton in seasonal epidemics.

British Dictionary definitions for bon ton

bon ton

/bɔ̃ tɔ̃/
noun (literary)
sophisticated manners or breeding
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
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