be·​nef·​i·​cence bə-ˈne-fə-sən(t)s How to pronounce beneficence (audio)
: the quality or state of doing or producing good : the quality or state of being beneficent
admired for her beneficence
: benefaction
bestow your beneficences generouslyW. L. Sullivan

Examples of beneficence in a Sentence

the town library stays open primarily through beneficences from concerned residents a religious leader whose beneficence is felt by all who meet him
Recent Examples on the Web Their band was ironically named Daddy Warbucks, after the character in the musical Annie, who adopts and looks after the titular orphan, a stroke of beneficence Marshall must have wished for his entire childhood. Bob Guccione Jr, Spin, 21 Aug. 2023 This is not, however, the result of cultural beneficence. Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times, 10 Aug. 2023 But even with these human enhancements the Maya remained at the mercy of nature’s beneficence. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, 2 Aug. 2018 The beneficence in that project has also proved to be good business: In August 2021, Hello Sunshine was sold to Candle Media, a company run by former top Disney execs Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs, for a staggering $900 million. Leah Chernikoff, Harper's BAZAAR, 12 July 2023 There is what may broadly be called the Whig tradition, which holds to a libertarian model of freedom, the supremacy of the legislature, the beneficence of market economics, and the rights of the bourgeoisie and the middle class to determine the direction of society. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, 9 Apr. 2021 Some observers have connected the governor’s beneficence with an obscure and rarely triggered budget constraint called the Gann Limit, which requires excess revenues to be sent back to the taxpayers when the state’s coffers grow beyond a steady and predictable increase. Lance Christensen, National Review, 14 May 2021 Each narrator reflects on the nature of family, the toxicity of secrets, the fragility and beneficence of romantic love, the relationship between money and contentment, issues of legacy and inheritance, and the fumbling, bumbling search for something like happiness., 6 May 2021 Key tenets outlined in the final report included beneficence, the notion that researchers have an obligation to maximize benefits and minimize risks, and justice, which ensures that the benefits and burdens of research are equitably distributed to all populations. Jyoti Madhusoodanan/undark, Popular Science, 2 Oct. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'beneficence.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin beneficentia, from beneficus — see benefice

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of beneficence was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near beneficence

Cite this Entry

“Beneficence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


be·​nef·​i·​cence bə-ˈnef-ə-sən(t)s How to pronounce beneficence (audio)
: the quality or state of being beneficent

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