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 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 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

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

Last Updated

5 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Beneficent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for beneficent


How to pronounce beneficent (audio)

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

March 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • field of crocuses
  • Which is a synonym of rectitudinous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!