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bien pensant

or bien-pen·sant

[ byen pen-sahnt; French byanpahn-sahn ]
/ ˌbyɛn pɛnˈsɑnt; French byɛ̃ pɑ̃ˈsɑ̃ /
Usually Disparaging.
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adjective

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.

noun

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

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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

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use bien pensant in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for bien pensant

bien-pensant
/ French (bjɛ̃pɑ̃sɑ̃) /

adjective

right-thinking; orthodox

noun bien pensant plural bien pensants (bjɛ̃pɑ̃sɑ̃)

a right-thinking person

Word Origin for 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
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