Definitions

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

  • adjective Characterized by or given to doing good.
  • adjective Suggestive of doing good; agreeable.
  • adjective Relating to a charitable organization that operates without making a profit.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Having or manifesting a desire to do good; possessing or characterized by love toward mankind, and a desire to promote their prosperity and happiness; kind: as, a benevolent disposition or action.
  • Intended for the conferring of benefits, as distinguished from the making of profit: as, a benevolent enterprise; a benevolent institution.

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

  • adjective Having a disposition to do good; possessing or manifesting love to mankind, and a desire to promote their prosperity and happiness; disposed to give to good objects; kind; charitable.

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

  • adjective Having a disposition to do good.
  • adjective Possessing or manifesting love for mankind.
  • adjective altruistic or charitable.
  • adjective generous.

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

  • adjective showing or motivated by sympathy and understanding and generosity
  • adjective generous in providing aid to others
  • adjective generous in assistance to the poor
  • adjective intending or showing kindness

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin benevolēns, benevolent- : bene, well; see deu- in Indo-European roots + volēns, present participle of velle, to wish; see wel- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin bene ("well") + volō.

Examples

  • It was only the other day I read in the report of the Consumers’ League in my own city that “a benevolent institution, ” when found giving out clothing to be made in tenement houses that were not licensed, and taken to task for it, asked the agents of the League to “show some way in which the law could be evaded”; but it is just as well for that “benevolent institution” that name and address were wanting, or it might find its funds running short unaccountably.

    VII. Pietro and the Jew

  • The term benevolent compassion puzzled Noam Cohen, executive editor of Inside.com and a former copy editor at the New York Times.

    The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time

  • The term benevolent compassion puzzled Noam Cohen, executive editor of Inside.com and a former copy editor at the New York Times.

    The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time

  • Well, I don't like the term benevolent dictator, and I don't think that it's my job or my role in the world of ideas to be the dictator of the future of all human knowledge compiled by the world.

    Jimmy Wales on the birth of Wikipedia

  • Well, I don't like the term benevolent dictator, and I don't think that it's my job or my role in the world of ideas to be the dictator of the future of all human knowledge compiled by the world.

    Jimmy Wales on the birth of Wikipedia

  • Well, I don't like the term benevolent dictator, and I don't think that it's my job or my role in the world of ideas to be the dictator of the future of all human knowledge compiled by the world.

    Jimmy Wales on the birth of Wikipedia

  • "Well, I am what I call a benevolent thief," replied Shih-Kung.

    Chinese Folk-Lore Tales

  • "This person did not have access to what we call our benevolent fund," he said Thursday.

    Thestar.com - Home Page

  • Like many who assume that I am one to whom the high court’s decisions about language can be appealed, he wrote to me: I was wondering what you made of Justice Scalia’s use of the term benevolent compassion.

    The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time

  • Like many who assume that I am one to whom the high court’s decisions about language can be appealed, he wrote to me: I was wondering what you made of Justice Scalia’s use of the term benevolent compassion.

    The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.