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

For Colorado’s 54,000 public school educators, the tab for this largesse would come to about $945 million per year. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Doing the math while debating teachers’ salaries (9/8/19)," 8 Sep. 2019 Other nearby communities also will share in the gaming largesse, with North Chicago getting a 15% cut, Park City 10% and Lake County 5%. Charles Selle, Lake County News-Sun, "Selle: Waukegan's bid to land a casino goes back to 1990 on the Waukegan River," 5 June 2019 Institutions that benefited from the family's largesse have been targeted by activists. NBC News, "Paris' Louvre museum covers Sackler name after opioid protests," 18 July 2019 Jordan, whose finances are precarious, relies on largesse from both the UAE and Saudi Arabia., "Intrigue, secrecy — an angry poetic outburst — surround reports of runaway Gulf princess," 3 July 2019 All the while, Hezbollah has relied overwhelmingly on Iranian largesse. Suzan Haidamous, The Seattle Times, "Trump’s sanctions on Iran are hitting Hezbollah hard," 18 May 2019 Charlotte is the unexpected entrant in the race, a wildcard bid fueled by Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper’s billions and a growing market in an empty spot on the map brimming with corporate largesse. Brian Straus,, "MLS in Advanced Expansion Discussions With St. Louis, Other Markets," 31 July 2019 This highlights a larger trend on the 2020 campaign trail: Democratic candidates are blasting the corporate greed and largesse of the tech industry, while still cashing checks from Silicon Valley to fuel their campaigns in a competitive field. Cat Zakrzewski, Washington Post, "The Technology 202: Pete Buttigieg's status as Silicon Valley darling may complicate his gig economy crusade," 30 July 2019 The dances span the group’s nearly four decades, each bearing the company’s trademarks: a voluptuous largesse of movement anchored by a very fine unity with the music. Janine Parker,, "An intensely joyful performance from Mark Morris Dance Group at Jacob’s Pillow," 18 July 2019

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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Statistics for largesse

Last Updated

14 Sep 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



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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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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