Word of the Day Archive
Thursday April 19, 2012
bona fides \BOH-nah FEE-des\
1. Good faith; the state of being exactly as claims or appearances indicate.
2. (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.
He seemed to feel that he had to convince them of his bona fides before they would trust the purity of the fuel that he was selling.
-- Dean R. Koontz, One Door Away from Heaven
The want of sincerity or bona fides, in a large body of men, respected and respectable, is a very tender place, and cannot be touched with too much delicacy.
-- Thomas Reid, The Works of Thomas Reid
We cannot investigate the bona fides of any of these people. We have to rely solely on deduction.
-- Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express
Originally bona fide, bona fides was accidentally pluralized by the 1830s and subsequently was used as a synonym for credentials.