or deb·o·naire, deb·on·naire



courteous, gracious, and having a sophisticated charm: a debonair gentleman.
jaunty; carefree; sprightly.

Origin of debonair

1175–1225; Middle English debone(i)re < Anglo-French; Old French debonaire, orig. phrase de bon aire of good lineage
Related formsdeb·o·nair·ly, adverbdeb·o·nair·ness, noun

Synonyms for debonair Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for debonaire

Historical Examples of debonaire

  • Where was the easy, gay and debonaire assurance of this fluent young man?

    The Dark Star

    Robert W. Chambers

  • "We had your note," from Mr. Cannon, the good-looking and the debonaire, cheerfully.


    George Madden Martin

  • Becker was not the debonaire Lothario he affected to be when in New Orleans.

    The Yazoo Mystery

    Irving Craddock

  • But what is lightsome and blithe in her, was debonaire in him.

  • The person who has been ground by poverty is never a debonaire gambler.

    Comrade Yetta

    Albert Edwards

British Dictionary definitions for debonaire



adjective (esp of a man or his manner)

suave and refined
carefree; light-hearted
courteous and cheerful; affable
Derived Formsdebonairly, adverbdebonairness, noun

Word Origin for debonair

C13: from Old French debonaire, from de bon aire having a good disposition
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 debonaire



c.1200, "mild, gentle, kind courteous," from Old French debonaire, from de bon' aire "of good race," originally used of hawks, hence, "thoroughbred" (opposite of French demalaire). Used in Middle English to mean "docile, courteous," it became obsolete and was revived with an altered sense of "pleasant, affable" (1680s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper