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
largesse was our Word of the Day on 02/02/2013. Hear the podcast!
Examples of largesse in a sentence
He relied on the largesse of friends after he lost his job.
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
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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