be·​nef·​i·​cent | \ bə-ˈne-fə-sənt How to pronounce beneficent (audio) \

Definition of beneficent

1 : doing or producing good a beneficent policy especially : performing acts of kindness and charity a beneficent leader
2 : beneficial beneficent bacteria

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from beneficent

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 When Kristof turns his notebook in the direction of women with stories of trauma, the resulting narratives most often fall somewhere between beneficent voyeurism and journalistic malpractice. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "Nick Kristof and the Holy War on Pornhub," 10 Dec. 2020 Many modern immunotherapy drugs, for instance, work best in the presence of beneficent microbes—as do some older chemotherapies. Claudia Wallis, Scientific American, "Deadly Spread of Some Cancers May Be Driven by a Common Mouth Microbe," 14 Sep. 2020 The last light disappearing, night and stars emerging, a beneficent moon rising. Longreads, "Your Wilderness Is Not Permanent," 10 Aug. 2020 The government has flailed in its response to the pandemic, and Big Tech has presented itself as a beneficent friend, willing to lend a competent hand. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "Big Tech’s Pandemic Power Grab," 12 June 2020 Thus, at the end of time, beneficent world government. Mark Danner, The New York Review of Books, "Moving Backward: Hypocrisy and Human Rights," 3 June 2020 The result is a book in which religion and motherhood, both of which Sade mocked and detested, are praised, and where nature, which Sade viewed as an amoral force that served to explain and justify his characters’ evil, is presented as beneficent. Mitchell Abidor, The New York Review of Books, "Reading Sade in the Age of Epstein," 12 Feb. 2020 The idea of a powerful, beneficent state able to provide for everyone’s needs is compelling and can find fertile soil anywhere. Krista Kafer, The Denver Post, "Kafer: Gardner is standing up to the enduring lie of peace and freedom in communist China," 3 Oct. 2019 Illustration: Crystal Tai The hardening U.S. rhetoric comes as China has pulled out all stops in Papua New Guinea to cast itself as the beneficent power that can help take the impoverished host nation on the path to prosperity. Rachel Pannett, WSJ, "U.S., China Clash Over Trade, Security at Pacific Summit," 17 Nov. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of beneficent

circa 1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for beneficent

back-formation from beneficence

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about beneficent

Time Traveler for beneficent

Time Traveler

The first known use of beneficent was circa 1616

See more words from the same year

Statistics for beneficent

Cite this Entry

“Beneficent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for beneficent



English Language Learners Definition of beneficent

formal : doing or producing good

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on beneficent

What made you want to look up beneficent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!