Definition of largesse
- a philanthropist known for his largesse
- projects depending on a flow of federal largesse
- his generosity of spirit, an absolutely natural largesse
- —Harvey Breit
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He relied on the largesse of friends after he lost his job.
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.
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.
First Known Use: 13th centurySee Words from the same year
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