Benefic comes from Latin beneficus, which in turn comes from "bene" ("well") and "facere" ("to do"). The word was originally used by astrologers to refer to celestial bodies believed to have a favorable influence, and it's still used in astrological contexts. "Benefic," "beneficent," and "beneficial" are all synonyms, but there are shades of difference. "Beneficial" usually applies to things that promote well-being (as in "beneficial treatment"), or that provide some benefit or advantage (as in "beneficial classes"). "Beneficent" means doing or effecting good (as in "a beneficent climate"), but in particular refers to the performance of acts of kindness or charity (as in "a beneficent organization")."Benefic," the rarest of the three, tends to be a bit high-flown, and it's mostly used to describe a favorable power or force.
Examples of benefic in a Sentence
the belief that participation in sports has a benefic influence on a young person
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'benefic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.