• synonyms


  1. a Buddhist monk, especially of Japan or China.
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Origin of bonze

1580–90; < Middle French < Portuguese bonzo or New Latin bonzius < Japanese bonsō, bonzō ordinary priest (bon- ordinary + priest < Middle Chinese, equivalent to Chinese fán-sēng); or < dialectal Japanese bonzu for bōzu priest
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bonze

Historical Examples of bonze

  • Then he realized that the pears the bonze had divided had been his own.

    The Chinese Fairy Book


  • When the bonze had gone off he turned around to look after his cart.

  • When the bonze had begun to make his magic, the farmer, too, had mingled with the crowd.

  • The bonze climbed into the tree and handed down the pears to the bystanders.

  • The farmer fell into a rage and hastened after the bonze as fast as ever he could.

British Dictionary definitions for bonze


  1. a Chinese or Japanese Buddhist priest or monk
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Word Origin for bonze

C16: from French, from Portuguese bonzo, from Japanese bonsō, from Sanskrit bon + priest or monk
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