Definition of debonair in English:



  • (of a man) confident, stylish, and charming:

    ‘all the men looked debonair and handsome in white tie and tails’
    • ‘He was charming, debonair, and a master of comedic timing.’
    • ‘Which caused Dominic Hamilton, one of the most suave and debonair boys I'd ever met, go absolutely nuts.’
    • ‘Would the ladies of a Unionist persuasion prefer the younger impetuous rascal type as their representative or the more mature, debonair sophisticate?’
    • ‘The royal equivalent of a Hollywood matinee idol, he was tall, suave, charming and debonair, with the unmistakeable look of his Hanoverian forebears.’
    • ‘Before me is not the debonair, gentleman writer I had expected but an unshaven, dishevelled man with wild, curly grey hair and frayed clothing.’
    • ‘One minute you could be all cool and debonair but the moment she enters, your legs turn to jelly.’
    • ‘Less rugged and robust than debonair and sophisticated, he attracted modern, independent women who appreciated his flair.’
    • ‘He could not have looked more suave or debonair had he walked out of the window of a fashion house in Recoleta, the upmarket district of his hometown Buenos Aires.’
    • ‘The debonair, sophisticated singer has tackled so many different styles that he transcends easy classification.’
    • ‘Gentle and debonair in manners, he knows how to be a submissive husband and cater to the needs of his sweetheart.’
    • ‘Dressed in a beige, linen Ermenegildo Zegna suit, he was every bit the suave, debonair businessman.’
    • ‘The debonair stylist was an aficionado of organic produce long before it became fashionable.’
    • ‘He's debonair, smooth, handsome and slim like Moore.’
    • ‘But in the end, the debonair president with a touch for the common citizen came through with a landslide re-election victory.’
    • ‘More often than not, Michael Douglas is known for playing suave, debonair men.’
    • ‘He was debonair, yet there seemed a sense of fun about him, as though he wasn't bound by the strict rules of his society.’
    • ‘When I am 71, can I be as suave, good-looking and debonair as the late Sacha Distel?’
    • ‘Handsome doesn't even begin to describe how dashing and debonair he looks.’
    • ‘He is supposed to be a charming and debonair ladies man.’
    • ‘He would be handsome, intelligent and debonair, but affable and always approachable, and on top of that he would always be wise, loving and kind.’
    suave, urbane, sophisticated, cultured, self-possessed, self-assured, confident, charming, gracious, well mannered, civil, courteous, gallant, chivalrous, gentlemanly, refined, polished, well bred, genteel, dignified, courtly
    well dressed, well groomed, well turned out, elegant, stylish, smart, dashing, dapper, spruce, trim, attractive
    smooth, swish, swanky, snappy, sharp, cool
    spiffy, fly
    on fleek
    trig, gentle
    View synonyms


Middle English (in the sense ‘meek or courteous’): from Old French debonaire, from de bon aire of good disposition.