Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The state or quality of being kind, charitable, or beneficial.
  • n. A charitable act or gift.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An act of philanthropy, a kind deed; an act which benefits someone (else.)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The practice of doing good; active goodness, kindness, or charity; bounty springing from purity and goodness.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The practice of doing good; active goodness, kindness, or charity.
  • n. A benefaction; a beneficent act or gift.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. doing good; feeling beneficent
  • n. the quality of being kind or helpful or generous

Etymologies

Latin beneficentia, from beneficus, beneficent-, benefic; see benefic.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • The term beneficence connotes acts of mercy, kindness, and charity, and is suggestive of altruism, love, humanity, and promoting the good of others.

    The Principle of Beneficence in Applied Ethics

  • Unless the real recipient of the foundation's beneficence is capitalism itself, which will now teach even poets a good lesson in the imperatives of market discipline?

    Poetry

  • The issue of religious oppression vs. beneficence is simply not one to be battled in the statistics, because the numbers clearly and unequivocally side with the caring, not the hateful.

    In Defense of Passion | Heretical Ideas Magazine

  • Enjoin beneficence and forbid malevolence: so shalt thou be loved of

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • ONE of the first lessons we learned at Hull-House was that private beneficence is totally inadequate to deal with the vast numbers of the city's disinherited.

    Twenty Years at Hull-House, With Autobiographical Notes

  • "I am afraid," said the lady, "that this Madame Milin's beneficence is a good deal exaggerated; but come with me, and I will take care of you."

    A Book of Golden Deeds

  • And may'st thou, stranger to ostentation, and superior to insolence, with true greatness of soul shine forth conspicuous only in beneficence!

    Evelina: or, The History of a Young Lady's Entrance Into the World

  • He loves me, reverend father, "and a transient glow passed o'er the sallow, cheek of the religieux; 'with all the energy of his grateful nature loves me, for what he terms the beneficence of charity, what I term the bare impulse of duty.

    The confessional of Valombre

  • His heart is naturally beneficent, and his beneficence is the gift of God for the most excellent purposes, as

    Pamela

  • Not from Miss Ainley's own lips did Caroline hear of her good works; but she knew much of them nevertheless; her beneficence was the familiar topic of the poor in Briarfield.

    Shirley, by Charlotte Bronte

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