Definitions

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

  • noun Liberality in giving.
  • noun Something given liberally.
  • noun A reward, inducement, or payment, especially one given by a government for acts deemed beneficial to the state, such as killing predatory animals, growing certain crops, starting certain industries, or enlisting for military service.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Goodness; virtue.
  • noun Liberality in bestowing gifts and favors; generosity; munificence.
  • noun A favor bestowed with a benevolent disposition; that which is given bounteously; a free gift: as, “thy morning bounties,”
  • noun A premium or reward; specifically, a premium offered by a government to induce men to enlist into the public service, or to encourage some branch of industry, as husbandry, manufactures, or commerce.

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

  • noun obsolete Goodness, kindness; virtue; worth.
  • noun Liberality in bestowing gifts or favors; gracious or liberal giving; generosity; munificence.
  • noun That which is given generously or liberally.
  • noun A premium offered or given to induce men to enlist into the public service; or to encourage any branch of industry, as husbandry or manufactures.
  • noun [Collog.] one who, during the latter part of the Civil War, enlisted in the United States service, and deserted as soon as possible after receiving the bounty.
  • noun (Eng. Hist.) a provision made in Queen Anne's reign for augmenting poor clerical livings.

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

  • noun generosity
  • noun something given liberally
  • noun A reward for some specific act, especially one given by a government or authority
  • noun nautical formerly, money paid to volunteers for serving in the British navy in time of war

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

  • noun payment or reward (especially from a government) for acts such as catching criminals or killing predatory animals or enlisting in the military
  • noun generosity evidenced by a willingness to give freely
  • noun a ship of the British navy; in 1789 part of the crew mutinied against their commander William Bligh and set him afloat in an open boat
  • noun the property of copious abundance

Etymologies

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

[Middle English bounte, from Old French bonte, from Latin bonitās, goodness, from bonus, good; see deu- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Anglo-Norman bounté, Old French bonté ("goodness") (French: bonté), from Latin bonitātem, accusative singular of bonitās ("goodness"), from bonus ("good").

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