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[buh-nef-uh-suh nt] /bəˈnɛf ə sənt/
doing good or causing good to be done; conferring benefits; kindly in action or purpose.
Origin of beneficent
1610-20; benefic(ence) + -ent
Related forms
beneficently, adverb
nonbeneficent, adjective
nonbeneficently, adverb
unbeneficent, adjective
unbeneficently, adverb
Can be confused
beneficent, beneficial, benevolent.
beneficent, munificent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for beneficent
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But the all-wise and beneficent ruler of the universe, makes nothing faulty.

  • By what could man provoke the displeasure of kind and beneficent beings?

    Chaldea Znade A. Ragozin
  • Uninspired human nature is sufficient to explain the beneficent display.

    The Cradle of the Christ Octavius Brooks Frothingham
  • There is only fruitful change and beneficent transformation.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • We, therefore, have a beneficent spider and a malignant one.

    Zoological Mythology (Volume II) Angelo de Gubernatis
  • Was it for this that the beneficent Author of nature called her into being?

    The Young Maiden A. B. (Artemas Bowers) Muzzey
  • We hope that blind and destructive economic force can be held in check by deliberate and beneficent social control.

    Distributive Justice John A. (John Augustine) Ryan
  • He drew the picture of the beneficent Olivarra with a loving hand.

British Dictionary definitions for beneficent


charitable; generous
Derived Forms
beneficently, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin beneficent-, from beneficus; see benefice
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 beneficent

1610s, "doing good, charitable," probably from beneficent on model of magnificent, etc.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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