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benevolence

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noun be·nev·o·lence \bə-ˈnev-lən(t)s, -ˈne-və-\

Definition of benevolence

  1. 1 :  disposition to do good

  2. 2 a :  an act of kindness b :  a generous gift

  3. 3 :  a compulsory levy by certain English kings with no other authority than the claim of prerogative



Examples of benevolence in a sentence

  1. <self-effacing as well as selfless, he refused all public acknowledgement of his many benevolences to the community>

  2. <her benevolence towards her employees was such that she actually let one live in her home temporarily>



Did You Know?

Part of benevolence comes from the Latin root meaning "wish". The novels of Charles Dickens often include a benevolent figure who rescues the main characters at some point--Mr. Brownlow in Oliver Twist, Abel Magwitch in David Copperfield, Mr. Jarndyce in Bleak House, Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. To be benevolent, it helps to have money, but it's not necessary; kind assistance of a nonfinancial sort may turn out to be lifesaving benevolence as well.

14th Century

First Known Use of benevolence

14th century


BENEVOLENCE Defined for Kids

benevolence

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noun be·nev·o·lence \bə-ˈne-və-ləns\

Definition of benevolence for Students





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