largesse

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noun lar·gesse \lär-ˈzhes, lär-ˈjes also ˈlär-ˌjes\
variants: or less commonly

largess

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Definition of largesse

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

largesse was our Word of the Day on 02/02/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of largesse in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples of largesse from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of largesse

Middle English largesse, from Anglo-French, from large


First Known Use: 13th century


LARGESSE Defined for English Language Learners

largesse

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noun

Definition of largesse for English Language Learners

  • : 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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