- a Buddhist monk, especially of Japan or China.
Origin of bonze
1580–90; < Middle French < Portuguese bonzo or New Latin bonzius < Japanese bonsō, bonzō ordinary priest (bon- ordinary + sō 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
Then he realized that the pears the bonze had divided had been his own.
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.
- a Chinese or Japanese Buddhist priest or monk
C16: from French, from Portuguese bonzo, from Japanese bonsō, from Sanskrit bon + sō priest or monk