Definition of benevolence
1 : disposition to do good a king known for his benevolence
2a : an act of kindnessb : 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
self-effacing as well as selfless, he refused all public acknowledgement of his many benevolences to the community
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 writers are steadfast in contemplating justice, benevolence, integrity and knowledge.
A teenage girl becomes guardian of the last city on Earth to change its fate by fusing her instinctive knowledge of nature with an AI’s benevolence, analysis, and foresight.
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 David Copperfield, 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.
BENEVOLENCE Defined for Kids
Learn More about benevolence
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up benevolence? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).