[ French bee-dawn-veel ]

noun,plural bi·don·villes [French bee-dawn-veel]. /French bi dɔ̃ˈvil/.
  1. (especially in France and North Africa) an impoverished shantytown on the outskirts of a city.

Origin of bidonville

First recorded in 1950–55; from French, equivalent to bidon “metal drum, can (for oil, etc.)” (earlier, “five-pint wooden jug”; of uncertain origin) + -ville, combining form, in placenames, of ville “city,” from Latin vīlla villa; metal cans are often used as building materials in such towns

Words Nearby bidonville Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023