benevolence

noun be·nev·o·lence \ bə-ˈnev-lən(t)s , -ˈne-və- \
Updated on: 15 Sep 2017

Definition of benevolence

1 :disposition to do good
  • a king known for his benevolence
2 a :an act of kindness
b :a generous gift
3 :a compulsory contribution or tax levied by certain English kings with no other authority than the claim of prerogative (see prerogative 1b)

Examples of benevolence in a Sentence

  1. self-effacing as well as selfless, he refused all public acknowledgement of his many benevolences to the community

  2. her benevolence towards her employees was such that she actually let one live in her home temporarily

Recent Examples of benevolence from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Part of benevolence comes from the Latin root meaning "wish". The novels of Charles Dickens often include a benevolent figure who rescues the main characters at some point--Mr. Brownlow in Oliver Twist, Abel Magwitch in Great Expectations, Mr. Jarndyce in Bleak House, Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. To be benevolent, it helps to have money, but it's not necessary; kind assistance of a nonfinancial sort may turn out to be lifesaving benevolence as well.

Origin and Etymology of benevolence


BENEVOLENCE Defined for Kids

benevolence

noun be·nev·o·lence \ bə-ˈne-və-ləns \

Definition of benevolence for Students



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