/ˈboʊnɑ ˈfidɛs; English ˈboʊnə ˈfaɪdiz or especially for 2, ˈboʊnəˌfaɪdz, ˈbɒnə/Show Spelled[boh-nah fee-des; Englishboh-nuhfahy-deez or especially for 2,boh-nuh-fahydz, bon-uh]Show IPA
(italics) Latin.(used with a singular verb) good faith; absence of fraud or deceit; the state of being exactly as claims or appearances indicate: The bona fides of this contract is open to question. Compare mala fides.
(sometimes italics) (used with a plural verb) the official papers, documents, or other items that prove authenticity, legitimacy, etc., as of a person or enterprise; credentials: All our bona fides are on file with the SEC.
Can be confused: bona fide, bona fides (see usage note at the current entry).
Usage note Bona fides is originally a Latin phrase meaning “good faith.” Fides is singular in Latin and has been used as such in English. At least partially because its -es ending makes bona fides look and sound like a plural, it has developed the plural sense “credentials.” This plural use, although criticized by some usage guides, has been increasing in recent decades in all varieties of speech and writing.