gen·​er·​ous | \ ˈjen-rəs How to pronounce generous (audio) , ˈje-nə- \

Definition of generous

1a : liberal in giving : openhanded a generous benefactor
b : marked by abundance or ample proportions wide overhangs and generous verandas— Lewis Mumford : copious a thin salt-and-pepper moustache interrupted by a generous nose— Richard Zabel
c : characterized by a noble or kindly spirit : magnanimous, kindly a generous heart
2 archaic : highborn

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Other Words from generous

generously adverb
generousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for generous

liberal, generous, bountiful, munificent mean giving or given freely and unstintingly. liberal suggests openhandedness in the giver and largeness in the thing or amount given. a teacher liberal with her praise generous stresses warmhearted readiness to give more than size or importance of the gift. a generous offer of help bountiful suggests lavish, unremitting giving or providing. children spoiled by bountiful presents munificent suggests a scale of giving appropriate to lords or princes. a munificent foundation grant

Examples of generous in a Sentence

The school raised the money through donations from generous alumni. He was generous with both his time and his money. She has always been very generous toward the poor. This restaurant is known for its generous portions. a generous helping of mashed potatoes She has a generous heart. He has generous sympathy for unemployed workers.
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Recent Examples on the Web The less generous people are with others’ ideas — and others’ errors, too — the more social trust crumbles. Stefan Beck, Washington Examiner, "If the truth is obvious, why don't we agree?," 1 Apr. 2021 With the memory of the pandemic’s toll in nursing homes still raw, the COVID-19 relief law is offering states a generous funding boost for home- and community-based care as an alternative to institutionalizing elderly and disabled people. Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, The Christian Science Monitor, "Community-based care gets a boost in the COVID-19 relief law," 25 Mar. 2021 What makes the waiting game worse now is that the latest stimulus package is far more generous than the last two, and really could provide serious relief. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "If you haven't gotten the third stimulus check yet, you're not completely out of luck," 25 Mar. 2021 To top it off, the U.S. has been extremely generous with COVID relief spending, especially after the recent passage of Biden's $1.9 trillion addition. Noah Smith, Star Tribune, "America's economy will be back on top," 23 Mar. 2021 Just one apple, for example, can pack up to 1⁄2 cup of H2O. Snack on extra veggies with salsa, add extra tomatoes to a salad, and get generous with your serving sizes of berries, citrus, melon, grapes, and other fruits. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How Much Water Should You Drink Every Day, According to Experts," 4 Mar. 2021 But be generous with it; a full tablespoon in each scone gives you a bit in each bite. Jessica Battilana, San Francisco Chronicle, "Haunted by a bakery's buttery scone, our columnist re-creates it," 26 Feb. 2021 Work will have a lighter feeling as well and people will be acting more generous than normal, especially with you! Tarot Astrologers,, "Daily horoscope for February 22, 2021," 22 Feb. 2021 For example, said Muni chief Jeffrey Tumlin, the agency’s equity discounts, which are more generous than some other agencies, wouldn’t be guaranteed under a standardized fare system, and without more funding, could be slashed. Mallory Moench,, "Bay Area transit can be a complex, costly ‘nightmare.’ The pandemic might help fix that," 1 Jan. 2021

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

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First Known Use of generous

1583, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for generous

Middle French or Latin; Middle French genereus, from Latin generosus, from gener-, genus

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Time Traveler for generous

Time Traveler

The first known use of generous was in 1583

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Statistics for generous

Last Updated

14 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Generous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for generous



English Language Learners Definition of generous

: freely giving or sharing money and other valuable things
: providing more than the amount that is needed or normal : abundant or ample
: showing kindness and concern for others


gen·​er·​ous | \ ˈje-nə-rəs How to pronounce generous (audio) , ˈjen-rəs \

Kids Definition of generous

1 : freely giving or sharing She was generous with her time.
2 : providing more than enough of what is needed : abundant a generous supply

Other Words from generous

generously adverb

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Comments on generous

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