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

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 Having beneficent Jupiter and elusive Neptune as your co-ruling planets hints at your innate angelic, but spacey qualities. Ashley Otero, Teen Vogue, "Who You Should Date, Based on Your Horoscope," 20 Aug. 2018 What, besides a desire to warm up his image, moved Rumsfeld to tell the story of Gerald Ford’s beneficent 895 days? Evan Thomas, New York Times, "Gerald Ford, President Nice Guy," 26 June 2018 That narrative, that America’s drug economy represents a complicated but beneficent market system at work, is so ingrained it is usually stated as fact, even in the media. Alexander Zaitchik, The New Republic, "How Big Pharma Was Captured by the One Percent," 28 June 2018 More tantalizing is a pie-in-the-sky idea: whether a beneficent billionaire, like Michael R. Bloomberg, could buy the company and either try to transform it or shut it down — a sort of philanthropic euthanasia in the name of gun control. Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times, "Please, Please Buy This Gun Company," 14 May 2018 Bible study probably is the most beneficent for Reggie. Rebecca Farley,, "Dear White People Season 2 Binge Club: Episodes 1 - 3 Recaps," 4 May 2018 Ohio 'not beneficent toward black people' Lynchings took many forms. Mark Curnutte,, "Lynched in Oxford: Descendant tries to reconcile official, family histories of 1892 killing," 30 Apr. 2018 Many see Sheikh Amoudi less as a beneficent local son than a Saudi privateer. Danny Hakim And Ben Hubbard, New York Times, "He Owns Much of Ethiopia. The Saudis Won’t Say Where They’re Hiding Him.," 16 Mar. 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

Statistics for beneficent

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for beneficent

The first known use of beneficent was circa 1616

See more words from the same year

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).


characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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