benevolence

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noun be·nev·o·lence \bə-ˈnev-lən(t)s, -ˈne-və-\

Definition of benevolence

  1. 1 :  disposition to do good a king known for his benevolence

  2. 2a :  an act of kindnessb :  a generous gift

  3. 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

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.

Origin and Etymology of benevolence

see benevolent


First Known Use: 14th century


BENEVOLENCE Defined for Kids

benevolence

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

Definition of benevolence for Students



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