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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web But soup kitchens, churches, and other working-class charities rely heavily on generous donations of individuals’ time. Daniel E. Burns, National Review, "The Charitable-Giving Deduction Needs to Be Fixed," 23 Jan. 2020 His Russian hosts were never less than generous, but the intense pressure of his Y2K-preparation work quickly became exhausting. Geoff Manaugh, The New Yorker, "When Russia and America Coöperated to Avert a Y2K Apocalypse," 30 Dec. 2019 The work of my favorite writers and critics has a generous, teaching spirit. Longreads, "Longreads Best of 2019: Profiles," 18 Dec. 2019 That's not to mention that Nordstrom's generous return policy is another reason to not feel so guilty about making an impulse buy this week. Lori Keong, SELF, "13 Very Good Deals We Found at the Nordstrom Cyber Sale," 27 Nov. 2019 Netflix was brilliant on The Irishman — incredibly generous and didn't question anything. Bronwyn Cosgrave, The Hollywood Reporter, "Sandy Powell on Working With Martin Scorsese: "The First Thing He Does Is Look at the Costumes"," 3 Feb. 2020 Netflix’s best, most emotionally generous show—contains a show within the show, the 1990s sitcom Horsin’ Around. Zak Jason, Wired, "BoJack Horseman Made It Easier to Get Out of Bed," 1 Feb. 2020 Her mentorship was strong and generous and open-minded. Kevin J. Delaney, Quartz, "Remembering Xana Antunes, our singular colleague and friend," 28 Jan. 2020 Despite his celebrity while still a detective, Mr. Grosso maintained his reputation for being loyal, generous and unpretentious. Sam Roberts, New York Times, "Sonny Grosso, Detective Who Severed ‘French Connection,’ Dies at 89," 23 Jan. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about generous

Time Traveler for generous

Time Traveler

The first known use of generous was in 1583

See more words from the same year

Statistics for generous

Last Updated

25 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Generous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for generous


How to pronounce generous (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on generous

What made you want to look up generous? 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

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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!