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[buh-nef-uh-suh ns] /bəˈnɛf ə səns/
the doing of good; active goodness or kindness; charity.
a beneficent act or gift; benefaction.
Origin of beneficence
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < Latin beneficentia; see benefic, -ence
Related forms
nonbeneficence, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for beneficence
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Frugality is not only the basis of quiet, but of beneficence.

    Self-Help Samuel Smiles
  • The time has come when beneficence, to be real, must operate scientifically, not emotionally.

    Dr. Sevier George W. Cable
  • We must transform it into beneficence, and its opposite into the idea of maleficence.

  • So he took them, and kissed the hands of the king, thanking him for his beneficence, and departed.

  • Lucienne is yours, Madame, for was it not your beneficence which gave it to me?

    Memoirs of the Comtesse du Barry Etienne Leon Lamothe-Langon
  • He has raised us to partake, as it were, in the ubiquity of his own beneficence.

    A History of American Christianity

    Leonard Woolsey Bacon
  • His unswerving belief in the beneficence of God was most beautiful, most touching.

    Old Familiar Faces Theodore Watts-Dunton
  • Freezing of water, law of, illustrates the beneficence of God, 221-223.

    Popular Education Ira Mayhew
  • Water, the freezing of, illustrates the beneficence of God, 321-323.

    Popular Education Ira Mayhew
British Dictionary definitions for beneficence


the act of doing good; kindness
a charitable act or gift
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for beneficence

"quality of being beneficent, kind, charitable," mid-15c., from Latin beneficentia "kindness, generosity," a back-formation from beneficentior (see beneficent).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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