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[bonz] /bɒnz/
a Buddhist monk, especially of Japan or China.
Origin of bonze
1580-90; < Middle French < Portuguese bonzo or New Latin bonzius < Japanese bonsō, bonzō ordinary priest (bon- ordinary + priest < Middle Chinese, equivalent to Chinese fán-sēng); or < dialectal Japanese bonzu for bōzu priest Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bonze
Historical Examples
  • The bonze climbed into the tree and handed down the pears to the bystanders.

  • When the bonze had begun to make his magic, the farmer, too, had mingled with the crowd.

  • When the bonze had gone off he turned around to look after his cart.

  • Then he realized that the pears the bonze had divided had been his own.

  • The farmer fell into a rage and hastened after the bonze as fast as ever he could.

  • And then he realized that the pear-tree which the bonze had chopped down must have been his axle.

  • He calls for a razor, shaves his head, and slips on the dress of a bonze.

    The Usurper Judith Gautier
  • "The bonze is generous, and his words are reasonable," said another.

    The War Tiger Wiliam Dalton
  • "These are dog's words, thou rogue of a bonze," said the boy.

    The War Tiger Wiliam Dalton
  • They were all in agreement: no bonze had come to trouble them.

    Eastern Shame Girl Charles Georges Souli
British Dictionary definitions for bonze


a Chinese or Japanese Buddhist priest or monk
Word Origin
C16: from French, from Portuguese bonzo, from Japanese bonsō, from Sanskrit bon + priest or monk
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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