gen·​er·​ous ˈje-nə-rəs How to pronounce generous (audio)
: liberal in giving : openhanded
a generous benefactor
: marked by abundance or ample proportions
wide overhangs and generous verandas Lewis Mumford
: copious
a thin salt-and-pepper moustache interrupted by a generous nose Richard Zabel
: characterized by a noble or kindly spirit : magnanimous, kindly
a generous heart
archaic : highborn
generously adverb
generousness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for generous

liberal, generous, bountiful, munificent mean giving or given freely and unstintingly.

liberal suggests openhandedness in the giver and largeness in the thing or amount given.

a teacher liberal with her praise

generous stresses warmhearted readiness to give more than size or importance of the gift.

a generous offer of help

bountiful suggests lavish, unremitting giving or providing.

children spoiled by bountiful presents

munificent suggests a scale of giving appropriate to lords or princes.

a munificent foundation grant

Example Sentences

The school raised the money through donations from generous alumni. He was generous with both his time and his money. She has always been very generous toward the poor. This restaurant is known for its generous portions. a generous helping of mashed potatoes She has a generous heart. He has generous sympathy for unemployed workers. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Steven Litt takes a closer look at the generous gift and the show featuring the new gifts currently running at the museum. cleveland, 24 Nov. 2022 Creditors should be generous in writing off loans for those on the frontline of the climate emergency. Heather Souvaine Horn, The New Republic, 18 Nov. 2022 So snack on extra veggies with salsa, add extra tomatoes to a salad, and get generous with your serving sizes of berries, citrus, melon, grapes and other fruits. Alyssa Jung, Good Housekeeping, 14 Nov. 2022 But Kinney, who plays Lt. Kelly Severide, is generous with his love for the McDonald's sandwich. Breanne L. Heldman, Peoplemag, 10 Nov. 2022 Zac Efron played Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, a very generous casting for Bundy. Brittany Spanos, Rolling Stone, 28 Sep. 2022 The community has been wonderfully generous in supporting and expanding this work. Greg Borowski, Journal Sentinel, 9 Sep. 2022 Equity compensation, meanwhile, was most generous in consumer companies, followed by tech and financial services, Heidrick found. Kevin Kelleher, Fortune, 2 Aug. 2022 AcneFree's Foaming Cleansing Wash utilizes a generous 10-percent helping of benzoyl peroxide to dig deep into your pores to fight painful acne at its root. Anamaria Glavan, Allure, 8 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'generous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle French or Latin; Middle French genereus, from Latin generosus, from gener-, genus

First Known Use

1583, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of generous was in 1583

Dictionary Entries Near generous

Cite this Entry

“Generous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



gen·​er·​ous ˈjen-(ə-)rəs How to pronounce generous (audio)
: free in giving or sharing
: abundant
a generous supply
generously adverb
generousness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on generous

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