or deb·o·naire, deb·on·naire

[ deb-uh-nair ]
/ ˌdɛb əˈnɛər /


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

Nearby words

  1. debit,
  2. debit card,
  3. debit policy,
  4. debitage,
  5. debitor,
  6. debone,
  7. deborah,
  8. deboshed,
  9. deboss,
  10. debouch

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

Examples from the Web for debonaire

British Dictionary definitions for debonaire



/ (ˌdɛbəˈnɛə) /

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