be·​nef·​i·​cence | \bə-ˈne-fə-sən(t)s \

Definition of beneficence 

1 : the quality or state of doing or producing good : the quality or state of being beneficent admired for her beneficence

2 : benefaction bestow your beneficences generously— W. L. Sullivan

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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

What Facebook saw as beneficence, Indians saw as neocolonialism. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "The Global Tech Backlash Is Just Beginning," 25 Oct. 2018 Etsy One of the marvels of the modern day gift market is the way that its journals, magnets, and coffee mugs swing wildly between smiling beneficence and saucy declarations of misanthropy. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "We buy each other gifts with misanthropic slogans to forge a common bond," 9 Nov. 2018 But his faith in his country’s beneficence remains undimmed. Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, "In ‘The Restless Wave,’ John McCain Says America Is Still Exceptional," 16 May 2018 Rarely noted is the longstanding Israeli beneficence toward Palestinians, when not under attack. WSJ, "Younger Evangelicals on Israel and Palestine," 11 June 2018 Americans have long had a love-hate relationship with Europe and foreigners in general, along with a strong current of belief that others have taken advantage of U.S. beneficence, sentiments that Trump has been more than willing to exploit. Karen Deyoung, Anchorage Daily News, "In Trump, some see the end of the world order," 8 June 2018 Better still would be the inculcation into all our moral considerations of beneficence as an internal good rather than an ethical calculation. Michael Shermer, Scientific American, "Does the Philosophy of “the Greatest Good for the Greatest Number” Have Any Merit?," 1 May 2018 Almost five years ago, at a more obscure institution of higher learning, Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan, China’s president, Xi Jinping, outlined his own vision of economic beneficence. The Economist, "Will China’s Belt and Road Initiative outdo the Marshall Plan?," 8 Mar. 2018 In different ways, both talked through a new way of thinking about local news, and a novel business model for funding it, one that doesn’t depend on the beneficence of Facebook or Google (which also has a new plan for local coverage). Farhad Manjoo, New York Times, "A Crazy Idea for Funding Local News: Charge People for It," 7 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'beneficence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of beneficence

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for beneficence

Latin beneficentia, from beneficus — see benefice

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Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

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

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