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Bona fide: Definition, Example and Related Terms

What is a Bona fide ?

Bona fide is a Latin term that means 'in good faith'. It is used to describe something that is genuine, authentic, or sincere, and is done without any intention to deceive or commit fraud. In the world of contracts, a bona fide agreement is one where both parties are honest about their intentions and there are no hidden traps or tricks.

Here's an interesting fact: 'Bona fide' is often used in legal contexts to determine whether a party's actions were made with honest intentions. For instance, in contract law, a bona fide purchaser is someone who buys something without knowing that it was illegally obtained. Their purchase is considered 'bona fide' because they had no intention of participating in illegal activity.


  • Scenario Description
    Bona fide sale A shop owner sells a product at a discount to a customer. The transaction is bona fide because both parties are sincere and there is no intention to deceive.
    Bona fide agreement Two companies agree to merge. The agreement is bona fide because both parties have disclosed all relevant information and there are no hidden traps.
    Bona fide job application A candidate applies for a job and provides truthful information on their application. The application is bona fide because the candidate is sincere and has no intention to deceive the employer.