Definition of bonny in English:


Syllabification: bon·ny
Pronunciation: /ˈbänē
(also bonnie)
chiefly Scottish & Northern English

adjective (bonnier, bonniest)

  • 1Attractive; beautiful: a bonny lass
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    • 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.
  • 1.1(Of a baby) plump and healthy-looking.
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    • 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, fancy dress at 3pm followed by Best Dressed Lady at 3.30 pm.
    • She now holds her bonny baby as if he is the only light in her life.
  • 1.2Sizable; considerable (usually expressing approval): it’s worth a thousand pounds, a bonny sum
    More example sentences
    • Keith believes his Grandpa got less than £5000 for the farm (still, a bonny sum in the early 50s).


(my bonny) • literary Back to top  
  • Used as a form of address for one’s beloved or baby.
    More example sentences
    • My bonnie lies over the ocean.
    • My bonnie lies over the sea.
    • So bring back me bonnie to moi.



Pronunciation: /ˈbänəlē/


More example sentences
  • Round, plump or normal-sized women have become the secretly desired, the quiet lust of men pushed towards boniness rather than bonniness.
  • Equally effective is Brigge's anxious scrutiny of newborn Samuel, who flutters between listless near-death and bubble-blowing bonniness.
  • The spoken performances, though, lack the bonniness of Branagh's earlier Shakespeare romance, ‘Much Ado About Nothing,’.


late 15th century: perhaps related to Old French bon 'good'.

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Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody