be·​nef·​i·​cent bə-ˈne-fə-sənt How to pronounce beneficent (audio)
: doing or producing good
a beneficent policy
especially : performing acts of kindness and charity
a beneficent leader
: beneficial
beneficent bacteria
beneficently adverb

Examples of beneficent in a Sentence

a humane and beneficent policy a beneficent couple who are regular volunteers at a homeless shelter
Recent Examples on the Web With his properties’ trolleys and holiday extravaganzas, Caruso already plays the beneficent administrator of popular yet privatized public spaces where the discomfiting realities of contemporary local life — protests, homelessness, crime — aren’t allowed to exist. Gary Baum, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 Feb. 2022 Both groups eventually end up in the same place: Bisoyn’s headquarters in Italy’s remote Dolomite Mountains, trying to escape the wrath of the dinosaurs while dispensing messages about respecting the power of nature and being suspicious of seemingly beneficent corporations along the way. cleveland, 8 June 2022 Garner the Grammarian Chatting about ChatGPT Like any other technology, chatbots will be used by the maleficent for wicked purposes; they’ll be used by the beneficent for noble purposes. David Harsanyi, National Review, 16 Mar. 2023 Oh no, the world is suddenly a-flush with inventive, moral, empathetic, charming, attractive and beneficent people! Kyle Munkittrick, Discover Magazine, 22 Feb. 2011 His world will have become a more beneficent co-creation. Joshua Rothman, The New Yorker, 3 Oct. 2022 Visitors to Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York, in the early 1900s could pay a quarter to see incredibly tiny premature infants on display in some of the earliest incubators in a beneficent sideshow attraction. Katherine Harmon Courage, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Sep. 2022 With regulatory and governmental eyes continuing to zero in on the practice, the decision to eschew lootboxes becomes more prudent than beneficent, at least for a certain type of game. Aaron Zimmerman, Ars Technica, 2 Sep. 2022 To avoid scrutiny and having the face the court of public opinion, many organizations and institutions took pre-emptive measures that on the surface seemed beneficent. Janice Gassam Asare, Forbes, 1 May 2022 See More

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

Word History


back-formation from beneficence

First Known Use

circa 1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of beneficent was circa 1616

Dictionary Entries Near beneficent

Cite this Entry

“Beneficent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


be·​nef·​i·​cent bə-ˈnef-ə-sənt How to pronounce beneficent (audio)
: doing or producing good
especially : performing acts of kindness or charity
beneficently adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on beneficent

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