Meaning of bonny in English:


Pronunciation /ˈbɒni/

See synonyms for bonny

Translate bonny into Spanish

adjectiveadjective bonnier, adjective bonniest

(also bonnie)
  • 1Scottish, Northern English Attractive or beautiful.

    ‘a bonny lass’
    • ‘From here we can also see cars blitzing their way north as the A9 snakes through some of Scotland's most spectacular scenery close to bonny Loch Alvie.’
    • ‘We were driving around Speyside the other day looking for bonny purple heather and found that the hillsides were blanketed with the dull cerise of willow-herb.’
    • ‘‘You've come a long way,’ said Naomi, the casting director's assistant who was bonny and bright.’
    • ‘It was not an auspicious start for bonny prince Charlie.’
    • ‘Outwardly bonny, Nikki is damaged by her past, and each month with Hamish is marked off as an anniversary.’
    • ‘He has a devoted wife and a brace of bonnie offspring.’
    • ‘These powerful images are a far cry from Scottish artist John Finnie's 1864 idealised Maids of All Work, looking blithe and bonny in crisp cottons.’
    • ‘Isobelle is my grand niece and a bonny little thing she is.’
    • ‘She is a larger than life Earth Mother: bonny, capable, strong and energetic.’
    • ‘It was truly kind of the hairdresser to come to my house with his bonny male assistant.’
    • ‘The mask of Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) is anything but bonnie.’
    • ‘One of the younger men on the boat laughed at me, and called me bonny lass for having done such a thing.’
    • ‘Why do you need a bus when you have a bonny lass to drive you to school today?’
    • ‘‘Give us a smile, bonny lass,’ said the young sentry in a sweet Geordie voice as I walked past pretending to be invisible.’
    • ‘I didn't really know Laura but I've seen her in the village and she was a bonny girl.’
    beautiful, attractive, handsome, pretty, gorgeous, good-looking, nice-looking, well favoured, fetching, prepossessing, ravishing, stunning
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    1. 1.1(of a baby) plump and healthy-looking.
      ‘We have events for all generations from bonny baby, kids fancy dress, children's tug-o-war to our most appropriately dressed lady and gentleman.’
      • ‘There will be a dog show at 1pm, bonny baby at 2.30 pm, and fancy dress at 3pm.’
      • ‘She now holds her bonny baby as if he is the only light in her life.’
      • ‘The church bells rang out as families with bonny babies filled the church for a baptism service.’
      • ‘There are just a few days left to enter your bonny baby into this year's Baby of the Year competition.’
    2. 1.2Sizeable (usually expressing approval)
      ‘it's worth a thousand pounds, a bonny sum’
      • ‘Keith believes his Grandpa got less than £5000 for the farm (still, a bonny sum in the early 50s).’
      fairly large, substantial, considerable, respectable, significant, largish, biggish, decent, decent-sized, generous, handsome
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(also bonnie)
literary my bonny
  • Used as a form of address for one's beloved or baby.

    ‘My bonnie lies over the ocean.’
    • ‘My bonnie lies over the sea.’
    • ‘So bring back me bonnie to moi.’


Late 15th century perhaps related to Old French bon ‘good’.