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benevolent

[buh-nev-uh-luh nt]
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adjective
  1. characterized by or expressing goodwill or kindly feelings: a benevolent attitude; her benevolent smile.
  2. desiring to help others; charitable: gifts from several benevolent alumni.
  3. intended for benefits rather than profit: a benevolent institution.

Origin of benevolent

1425–75; late Middle English < Latin benevolent- (stem of benevolēns) kindhearted (bene- bene- + vol- wish (akin to will1) + -ent- -ent)
Related formsbe·nev·o·lent·ly, adverbbe·nev·o·lent·ness, nounnon·be·nev·o·lent, adjectivenon·be·nev·o·lent·ly, adverbpseu·do·be·nev·o·lent, adjectivepseu·do·be·nev·o·lent·ly, adverbqua·si-be·nev·o·lent, adjectivequa·si-be·nev·o·lent·ly, adverbsu·per·be·nev·o·lent, adjectivesu·per·be·nev·o·lent·ly, adverbun·be·nev·o·lent, adjectiveun·be·nev·o·lent·ly, adverb
Can be confusedbeneficent beneficial benevolent

Synonyms

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2. good, kind, humane, generous, liberal, benign, philanthropic, altruistic.

Antonyms

cruel.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for benevolent

benevolent

adjective
  1. intending or showing goodwill; kindly; friendlya benevolent smile; a benevolent old man
  2. doing good or giving aid to others, rather than making profit; charitablea benevolent organization
Derived Formsbenevolently, adverb

Word Origin

C15: from Latin benevolēns, from bene well + velle to wish
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

Word Origin and History for benevolent

adj.

mid-15c., "wishing to do good, kindly," from Middle French benivolent and directly from Latin benevolentem (nominative benevolens) "wishing (someone) well, benevolent," related to benevolentia "good feeling" (see benevolence). Related: Benevolently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper