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bon mot

[bon moh; French bawn moh]
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noun, plural bons mots [bon mohz; French bawn moh] /ˈbɒn ˈmoʊz; French bɔ̃ ˈmoʊ/.
  1. a witty remark or comment; clever saying; witticism.
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Origin of bon mot

1725–35; < French: literally, good word; see boon2, motto
Can be confusedbon mot mot juste
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for bon mot

pun, humor, antic, farce, one-liner, trick, laugh, parody, gag, stunt, wisecrack, prank, witticism, repartee, gibe, satire, banter, retort, pleasantry, saying

Examples from the Web for bon mot

Historical Examples of bon mot

  • A bon-mot of one of the Townsends is recorded, on his taking his seat.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 348

    Various

  • Here he rubbed his hands excessively, and looked round the table for a smile at the bon-mot.

  • St. Evremond said he would gladly die to go off with so successful a bon-mot.

    The Wits and Beaux of Society

    Grace Wharton and Philip Wharton

  • France has no 'Joe Miller;' for a bon-mot there, however good, is only appreciated historically.

    The Wits and Beaux of Society

    Grace Wharton and Philip Wharton

  • A joke, a banter, a bon-mot, make more impression upon the man of the world than all the grave notions of his religion.


British Dictionary definitions for bon mot

bon mot

noun plural bons mots (bɔ̃ mo)
  1. a clever and fitting remark
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Word Origin for bon mot

French, literally: good word
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

Word Origin and History for bon mot

n.

1735, French, "good saying, " literally "good word," from bon "good" + mot (12c.), from Vulgar Latin muttum, from Latin muttire "to mutter, mumble, murmur" (see mutter).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper