Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Sophisticated; urbane.
  • adjective Gracious and charming in a cheerful, carefree way.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Of gentle mien; of pleasant manners; courteous; affable; attractive; gay; light-hearted.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Characterized by courteousness, affability, or gentleness; of good appearance and manners; graceful; complaisant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective obsolete Gracious, courteous.
  • adjective Suave, urbane and sophisticated.
  • adjective Charming, confident and carefully dressed.

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

  • adjective having a cheerful, lively, and self-confident air
  • adjective having a sophisticated charm

Etymologies

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

[Middle English debonaire, gracious, kindly, from Old French, from de bon aire, of good lineage or disposition : de, of (from Latin ; see de–) + bon, bonne, good (from Latin bonus; see deu- in Indo-European roots) + aire, nest, family; see aerie.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French de bon air "having good appearances"

Examples

  • The term debonair was indeed coined for Powell, and Lombard makes for an adorable ditz.

    John Farr: A Wistful Champagne Toast to William Powell

  • Agnes is said of agna a lamb, for she was humble and debonair as a lamb, or of agnos in Greek, which is to say debonair and piteous, for she was debonair and merciful.

    The Golden Legend, vol. 2

  • Ricardo Montalban (88) actor best known as the debonair and mysterious Mr. Roarke on the popular TV series

    MINISTER OF RANTS

  • Ricardo Montalbán, a Mexican-born actor who starred in Hollywood dramas and candy-colored musicals in the 1940s and '50s and was perhaps best known as the debonair host of the TV drama Fantasy Island and as pitchman for the "soft Corinthian leather" of the Chrysler Cordoba, died Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles of congestive heart failure.

    HispanicTrending

  • Ricardo Montalban was perhaps best known as the debonair Mr. Roarke on the popular TV-show "Fantasy Island."

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  • Ricardo Montalban was perhaps best known as the debonair Mr. Roarke on the popular TV-show "Fantasy Island."

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  • Ricardo Montalban was perhaps best known as the debonair Mr. Roarke on the popular TV-show "Fantasy Island."

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  • Ricardo Montalban was perhaps best known as the debonair Mr. Roarke on the popular TV-show "Fantasy Island."

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  • Nancy Pelosi looks great, and Obama is "debonair" and has never been more bone-able.

    TV SoundOff: Sunday Talking Heads

  • Nancy Pelosi looks great, and Obama is "debonair" and has never been more bone-able.

    TV SoundOff: Sunday Talking Heads

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • "Hats. They have two purposes: to be doffed and to be worn at rakish angles."

    From a Facebook group...what can I say?

    March 20, 2009

  • I say make a list of hat uses, Milos.

    March 20, 2009

  • It would be a nice complement to "Hats Off!" :-)

    March 20, 2009