Definitions

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

  • adjective Having little or no detrimental effect; harmless.
  • adjective Of no danger to health; not malignant or disease-causing.
  • adjective Tending to exert a beneficial influence; favorable.
  • adjective Gentle or kind.
  • adjective Showing gentleness or kindness: synonym: kind.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Of a kind disposition; gracious; kind; benignant; favorable.
  • Proceeding from or expressive of gentleness, kindness, or benignity.
  • Favorable; propitious: as, benign planets.
  • Genial; mild; salubrious: applied to weather, etc.
  • Mild; not severe; not violent; not malignant: used especially in medicine: as, a benign medicine; a benign disease.

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

  • adjective Of a kind or gentle disposition; gracious; generous; favorable; benignant.
  • adjective Exhibiting or manifesting kindness, gentleness, favor, etc.; mild; kindly; salutary; wholesome.
  • adjective Of a mild type or character.

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

  • adjective Kind; gentle; mild.
  • adjective medicine Not posing any serious threat to health; not particularly aggressive or recurrent.

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

  • adjective kindness of disposition or manner
  • adjective pleasant and beneficial in nature or influence
  • adjective not dangerous to health; not recurrent or progressive (especially of a tumor)

Etymologies

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

[Middle English benigne, from Old French, from Latin benignus; see genə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Via French from Latin benignus ("kind, good"), from bonus ("good") + genus ("origin, kind"). Compare malign.

Examples

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Comments

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  • And I love the word, benignity. But I do not like the word, benighted.

    August 9, 2008