A Buddhist monk, especially of China, Japan, or nearby countries.
[French, from Portuguese bonzo, from Japanese bonsō : bon, ordinary (from Early Middle Chinese buam) + sō, monk (from Middle Chinese səng, from Sanskrit saṃghaḥ, sangha; see SANGHA).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.