From Old French bienvenue; literally bien (“well”) + venue (“come, coming”); compare also bienvenu (without the -e). Presumably a calque of an Old Frankish term, from Proto-Germanic *weljakwumô (“a welcome guest or arrival”), from which many modern Germanic forms descend, as English welcome.
Sense “you’re welcome” is recent, due to influence from English; English “you’re welcome” dates from early 20th century, French usage correspondingly later.
bienvenue f (plural bienvenues)
- feminine form of bienvenu