largesse

noun
lar·​gesse | \ lär-ˈzhes How to pronounce largesse (audio) , lär-ˈjes also ˈlär-ˌjes How to pronounce largesse (audio) \
variants: or less commonly largess

Definition of largesse

1 : 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
2 : generosity his generosity of spirit, an absolutely natural largesse— Harvey Breit

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Did You Know?

The word largesse, which also can be spelled "largess" (as in our second example sentence), has been part of the English language since at least the 13th century. It derives via Anglo-French from the Latin word largus, meaning "abundant" or "generous." "Largus" is also the source of our word large. As far back as the 14th century, we used the word largeness as a synonym of "largesse" ("liberal giving"). In fact, that may have been the first sense of "largeness," which has since come to refer to physical magnitude and bulk more often than to magnanimity.

Examples of largesse in a Sentence

He relied on the largesse of friends after he lost his job.

Recent Examples on the Web

The workers pocketing four-figure bonuses from the parade of corporations sharing their largesse might answer one way. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: You're not the only one confused about when the tax overhaul takes effect," 11 Jan. 2018 The video -- which featured Bad Boy’s kiddie counterparts frolicing in largesse -- was an innocently sentimental touch. Brian Josephs, Billboard, "The Notorious B.I.G.'s 25 Best Songs: Critic's Picks," 21 May 2018 The new recipients of Tiffany’s largesse will now also include the rhinoceros and the lion, the latter of which found a new ambassador in Jordan Barrett. Alessandra Codinha, Vogue, "New York Fashion Week Gets Wild With a Dinner for Tiffany & Co.," 9 Sep. 2018 Yet this largesse has not changed the economics of the electric car market. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Electric Kool-Aid Subsidy Test," 30 Dec. 2018 This previously unreported flood of loans highlights a clear pattern to Fred Trump’s largesse. Susanne Craig, The Seattle Times, "Trump engaged in suspect tax schemes as he reaped riches from father," 2 Oct. 2018 Palm Springs pays tribute to the largesse of the Colorado River; the shrinking Salton Sea is a warning about its limits. Mark Athitakis, latimes.com, "Joshua Wheeler aims to put overlooked southern New Mexico on the map in 'Acid West'," 13 Apr. 2018 But there’s another element to Sisakhti’s largesse. Alfred Lubrano, Philly.com, "Germantown girls get prom dresses from fashion exec who changed his life to do good," 31 Mar. 2018 But the largesse has dried up under Maduro, who has tried to compensate by giving top-ranking officers an even bigger slice of power. Washington Post, "Empty stomachs drive Venezuela soldiers to desert in droves," 18 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'largesse.' 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 largesse

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for largesse

Middle English largesse, from Anglo-French, from large

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Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for largesse

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

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More Definitions for largesse

largesse

noun

English Language Learners Definition of largesse

somewhat formal : the act of giving away money or the quality of a person who gives away money also : money that is given away

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More from Merriam-Webster on largesse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for largesse

Spanish Central: Translation of largesse

Nglish: Translation of largesse for Spanish Speakers

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