largesse

noun
lar·​gesse | \ lär-ˈzhes How to pronounce largesse (audio) , lär-ˈjes How to pronounce largesse (audio) also ˈlär-ˌjes \
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 Now that largesse — and other spending on McGrath, including tuition reimbursement and expensive overseas travel — was the subject of an expanding probe by Maryland lawmakers. Washington Post, "Hogan’s former chief of staff implored him to back him up. Instead, Hogan publicly rebutted him.," 1 Sep. 2020 As a result, those with assets such as stocks and bonds have been the main beneficiaries of the government's largesse. Randy Charles Epping For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "It's time to raise taxes on the rich," 27 Aug. 2020 Michael Bloomberg plans to spend $60 million on House races to lock in and expand the Democratic majority, but Republicans say the largesse won't be as effective as in 2018. Kerry Picket, Washington Examiner, "Republican fundraisers say Bloomberg cash will be less effective this election cycle," 19 Aug. 2020 Many undocumented workers have depended on the largesse of church and activist organizations. Ray Sanchez, CNN, "Swept up in historic Mississippi ICE raids a year ago, these undocumented workers are now 'essential'," 9 Aug. 2020 LaPierre, who has served as the taciturn and incendiary face of the organization for more than a decade, was the recipient, and often the arbiter, of this largesse. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "New York’s Punishment May Not Fit the NRA’s Crime," 7 Aug. 2020 But, should the lives of our most vulnerable people really be dependent on the largesse of celebrities? Jada Jackson, refinery29.com, "As The Pandemic Rages On, Homeless Women & Children Are Facing A Dire Future," 4 Aug. 2020 According to town residents, Robert maintains a reserved but affable presence in Millbrook and its environs, using his financial largesse to support a number of local causes and small businesses. Matthew Kassel, Town & Country, "What to Know About Donald Trump's Brother Robert," 6 July 2020 But that free-spending largesse, estimated at more than $6 million in political donations alone, also bought him enemies. Justin Wingerter, The Denver Post, "Bloomberg sent well over $10 million in donations to Colorado, long before 2020," 19 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for largesse

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

11 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Largesse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/largesse. Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for largesse

largesse

noun
How to pronounce largesse (audio) How to pronounce largesse (audio)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on largesse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for largesse

Nglish: Translation of largesse for Spanish Speakers

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