(italics)Latin.(used with a singular verb) good faith; absence of fraud or deceit; the state of being exactly as claims or appearances indicate: The bona fides of this contract is open to question.: Compare mala fides.
(sometimes italics)(used with a plural verb) the official papers, documents, or other items that prove authenticity, legitimacy, etc., as of a person or enterprise; credentials: All our bona fides are on file with the SEC.
The adjective bona fide (without the “s”) is from a Latin phrase meaning “in good faith, with good faith.” It was originally used adverbially in this sense, but is now mainly an adjective. The meaning “authentic, true” is a later development sometimes denounced as sloppy usage, but its use is bona fide and widespread.
- bona fide, bona fides (see usage note at the current entry)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use bona fides in a sentence
Proving his far-right bona fides is just one aspect of the newly energized Roberts campaign.As Roberts and Orman Double Down, It’s War in Kansas | Eleanor Clift | October 1, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Why so many people are so eager to flaunt their musical bona fides by loathing Coldplay.Why Is It Cool to Hate Coldplay? A First Listen of New Album ‘Ghost Stories’ | Andrew Romano | March 26, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Better still, his military bona fides give him the kind of street cred that is rare among the political class.Tom Cotton’s Run for Senate in Arkansas Makes Him the New Neocon Darling | Michelle Cottle | August 9, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
For his part, Bright has been pushing his conservative bona fides.
The two-decade veteran of the House of Representatives wears his Fighting Irish bona fides with pride.Newtown Six-Month Anniversary: The Victims Deserve More | Rob Cox | June 14, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
It was an instantaneous apparition of absolute bodily substance, which carried its own warrant of complete bona fides.Devil-Worship in France | Arthur Edward Waite
Miss Jessimina asked what had she done that I should be in dubitation as to her bona fides?Baboo Jabberjee, B.A. | F. Anstey
Fides enim debet prcedere intellectum, ut sit intellectus fidei prmium.Aids to Reflection | Samuel Taylor Coleridge
I saw the Master, staff in hand, going up toward the mountains, and Fides was coming across the hills.Unveiling a Parallel | Alice Ilgenfritz Jones and Ella Marchant
Fides thinks the opening of a flower is a far more wonderful manifestation than the stirring up of the elements!Unveiling a Parallel | Alice Ilgenfritz Jones and Ella Marchant
British Dictionary definitions for bona fides
law good faith; honest intention
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