from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A person with refined taste, especially one who enjoys superb food and drink.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a person who enjoys the good things in life, especially good food and drink; a man about town

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A good fellow; a jovial companion; a free liver.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • A generous liver; a jovial companion.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment (especially good food and drink)


French : bon, good + vivant, present participle of vivre, to live.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French bon vivant (literally "one who lives well, good ‘liver’ (living person)"), from bon ("good") + vivant ("person who is living"), agent noun of vivre ("to live"). (Wiktionary)


  • In this connection he spoke of John Fiske and his contributions to literature, telling of the surprise he felt on first meeting Fiske at Harvard, to see the look of the bon vivant in one in whom the intellectual and the spiritual were so prominent.

    Our Friend John Burroughs

  • At Fort Adams, Newport, Rhode Island, he had won a great name as a bon vivant and as an obliging host.


  • The only consistently solid element is the Doctor himself: a solid synthesis of David Tennant's best characteristics & his turn-on-a-dime change of attitude, from carefree bon vivant to hard-edged hero.


  • “Even in his school-days, Saint-Hilaire was a bon vivant, but a bon vivant of a rather rare type, a person of tremendous distinction  …  ”

    Maigret in Society


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