lar·​gesse lär-ˈzhes How to pronounce largesse (audio) lär-ˈjes How to pronounce largesse (audio)
 also  ˈlär-ˌjes
variants or less commonly largess
: liberal giving (as of money) to or as if to an inferior
a philanthropist known for his largesse
also : something so given
projects depending on a flow of federal largesse
: generosity
his generosity of spirit, an absolutely natural largesseHarvey Breit

Did you know?

The word largesse, which also can be spelled largess, comes from Anglo-French large, meaning "generous."

Examples of largesse in a Sentence

He relied on the largesse of friends after he lost his job.
Recent Examples on the Web That system may be flawed, but at least enrollment in a public school doesn’t require a waiting list or depend on the largesse of a billionaire or an employer. Elliot Haspel, The Atlantic, 20 Mar. 2024 Government largesse may one day exceed the central bank's ability to manage inflation. David McHugh and Vladimir Isachenkov, Quartz, 12 Mar. 2024 Government largesse may one day exceed the central bank’s ability to manage inflation. David McHugh, Fortune Europe, 12 Mar. 2024 But he's now locked into the job by the largesse of his contract and the lack of better options for a 65-year-old whose best coaching days are likely behind him. USA TODAY, 15 Feb. 2024 For adult children on the receiving end of parental largesse, the help can come as a blessing or a curse. USA TODAY, 4 Feb. 2024 State’s largesse shows no signs of slowing With the California deficit at a whopping $68 billion, the largesse of our governor shows no sign of a slowdown. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, 9 Jan. 2024 In Israel, where the Biden administration has expedited the transfer of billions of dollars in powerful bombs, guns and munitions, in some cases bypassing congressional review, U.S. largesse has done little to soften opposition to U.S. proposals. John Hudson, Washington Post, 11 Jan. 2024 Furthermore, a guest enjoying the extreme largesse of an overnight stay doesn’t really have the right to lecture the host on etiquette. Amy Dickinson, Washington Post, 12 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'largesse.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English largesse, from Anglo-French, from large

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of largesse was in the 13th century


Dictionary Entries Near largesse

Cite this Entry

“Largesse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


variants also largess
: generous giving
: a generous gift

More from Merriam-Webster on largesse

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