1 a : marked by or disposed to doing good
b : organized for the purpose of doing good
2 : marked by or suggestive of goodwill
Did You Know?
Someone who is "benevolent" genuinely wishes other people well, which is not surprising if you know the word's history. "Benevolent" can be traced back to Latin "bene," meaning "good," and "velle," meaning "to wish." Other descendants of "velle" in English include "volition" ("the act or power of making one's choices or decisions"), "voluntary," and the rare word "velleity" (meaning either "the lowest degree of volition" or "a slight wish or tendency"). There is also one more familiar "velle" descendant - "malevolent," the antonym of "benevolent," a word describing one who is disposed to doing ill instead of good.
Jody's grandmother was a benevolent lady who enjoyed performing random acts of kindness for both her family and strangers.
"This benevolent festival supports the nonprofit Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, which was founded by the folk singer Pete Seeger and aims to clean up the waterway." - From an write-up by Stacey Anderson in The New York Times, May 20, 2012
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Test Your Memory
What recent Word of the Day can refer to a singer of folk songs? The answer is ...
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP