noun, plural bons vi·vants [bon vee-vahnts; French bawn vee-vahn] /ˈbɒn viˈvɑnts; French bɔ̃ viˈvɑ̃/.
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Origin of bon vivant
Words nearby bon vivant
What does bon vivant mean?
A bon vivant is a person who enjoys living “the good life”—a connoisseur of food and drink and of the other things that go along with a life of leisure and luxury.
Bon vivant comes from French, in which it’s used as an adjective that literally means “good living.”
The term bon vivant is typically associated with the kind of sociable person who’s good at entertaining and can keep the party going with a good story. However, the term is sometimes used to suggest that such a person is overly indulgent.
Sometimes, bon vivant is written with a hyphen, as bon-vivant.
Example: The hostess was a charming bon vivant who made sure to keep the food coming and the music playing late into the evening.
Where does bon vivant come from?
The first records of bon vivant in English come from around the 1700s. It’s a direct borrowing from French, in which bon means “good” and vivant means “living.” Vivant comes from a root meaning “alive” that is also the basis of English words like vivacious, which means “spirited” or “lively.” In French, bon vivant is used as an adjective in a phrase that refers to a “good living man.” In English, though, bon vivant does not specifically refer to a man, and it is only used as a noun, not an adjective.
Bon vivants are passionate about “living well.” They aim to live life to the fullest and enjoy its finer things. This usually means indulging in food and drink, especially in the company of others. In this sense, a bon vivant can be called a connoisseur or a gourmand. However, those words often specifically indicate a focus on eating and drinking, whereas a bon vivant is looking for good times all around. The best synonym for bon vivant might be the equally elegant epicurean.
A very similar synonym is bon viveur, but that term is not based on an actual French term.
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What are some other forms related to bon vivant?
- bon vivants (plural)
What are some synonyms for bon vivant?
What are some words that share a root or word element with bon vivant?
What are some words that often get used in discussing bon vivant?
How is bon vivant used in real life?
The term bon vivant is typically used in a positive way to refer to someone who’s been places and done things and can tell a good story about it over a nice dinner.
I just want to be credited in a documentary someday as a “bon vivant”
— ᕳ Essa Dee ᕲ (@Essa_Dee) April 23, 2020
people always describe me as a bit of a 'bon vivant. I have refined taste, and i love superb food and drink. :/
— alz (@alliajanez) April 9, 2011
"The villains always live in the modern houses." James Goldstein, L.A.'s most unapologetic 80-year-old bon vivant (and Lakers fixture), throws bashes with models and Leonardo DiCaprio as he rushes to finish his architectural legacy https://t.co/9zLKvPolaL
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) March 12, 2020
Try using bon vivant!
Is bon vivant used correctly in the following sentence?
Last weekend’s party was positively bon vivant!
Example sentences from the Web for bon vivant
In the first seven verses of this discourse, I cannot help seeing a gentle allusion to Schopenhauer's habits as a bon-vivant.Thus Spake Zarathustra|Friedrich Nietzsche
He has the air of a bon-vivant, and speaks English extremely well.Hushed Up|William Le Queux
"Well, I am content rather to live than to contemplate life," said the bon-vivant.Tales From Bohemia|Robert Neilson Stephens
He once bluntly told a bon-vivant gentleman to “Live on sixpence a day, and earn it!”
He was a Whig without rancour, and a bon-vivant without selfishness.A Book about Doctors|John Cordy Jeaffreson