bien pensant

or bien-pen·sant

[ byen pen-sahnt; French byanpahn-sahn ]

  1. blindly conventional or orthodox; having or based on beliefs that are acceptably proper or correct: In bien pensant circles, it has become fashionable to speak of India and China in the same breath, though these countries have little in common.

  1. a person who adopts conventional or orthodox beliefs without critical judgment: I've been called an opinionated bien pensant.

Origin of bien pensant

First recorded in 1840–45; from French: literally, “well thinking,” equivalent to bien, from Latin bene “well” + pensant, present participle of penser “to think”; see origin at pensive

Words Nearby bien pensant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use bien pensant in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for bien-pensant


/ French (bjɛ̃pɑ̃sɑ̃) /

  1. right-thinking; orthodox

nounbien pensant plural bien pensants (bjɛ̃pɑ̃sɑ̃)
  1. a right-thinking person

Origin of bien-pensant

literally: well-thinking

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