from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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


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

[Latin beneficentia, from beneficus, beneficent-, benefic; see benefic.]


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  • 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 Beauchamp, Tom 2008

  • 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 2010

  • 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 2009

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

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night 2006

  • 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 1910

  • "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 1864

  • 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 1778

  • 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 1812

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

    Pamela 2006

  • 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 2004


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