- desire to do good to others; goodwill; charitableness: to be filled with benevolence toward one's fellow creatures.
- an act of kindness; a charitable gift.
- English History. a forced contribution to the sovereign.
Origin of benevolence
Examples from the Web for benevolence
And your current brand of persuasion entails tempering pushiness with aplomb, brute force with benevolence.Horoscopes for June 12-18, 2011
Starsky + Cox
June 12, 2011
With what warmth of benevolence—how should he be otherwise than warm in any of his attributes?Fire Worship (From "Mosses From An Old Manse")
Even in my benevolence I was as impatient and unreasonable as a child.
His desire to please evidently arose not from vanity but benevolence.
The parson had bent forward, and was eyeing her curiously, yet with benevolence.Tiverton Tales
He is as thorough a worker in the cause of religion, morality and benevolence as in trade.Cleveland Past and Present
- inclination or tendency to help or do good to others; charity
- an act of kindness
- (in the Middle Ages) a forced loan or contribution exacted by English kings from their nobility and subjects
Word Origin and History for benevolence
c.1400, "disposition to do good," from Old French benivolence and directly from Latin benevolentia "good feeling, good will, kindness," from bene "well" (see bene-) + volantem (nominative volens) present participle of velle "to wish" (see will (v.)). In English history, this was the name given to forced extra-legal loans or contributions to the crown, first so called 1473 by Edward IV, who cynically "asked" it as a token of good will toward his rule.