- having a kindly disposition; gracious: a benign king.
- showing or expressive of gentleness or kindness: a benign smile.
- favorable; propitious: a series of benign omens and configurations in the heavens.
- (of weather) salubrious; healthful; pleasant or beneficial.
- Pathology. not malignant; self-limiting.
Origin of benign
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for benign
Even its benign forms—the resurgence of modest dress norms in Jewish communities, for example—perpetuate this idea.Church Sex Scandals Are Rooted in Theology
December 15, 2014
Unstoppable or not, John H has seen little in his 38 years to persuade him progress is benign.The Golden West Up for Grabs: ‘Painted Horses’ Is the Next Great Western Novel
November 28, 2014
It is not some benign magical sleep as shown on TV, where people wake up a year later and are instantly back to normal.Understanding Tracy Morgan’s Traumatic Brain Injury
November 20, 2014
Eric lobbies for an industry of benign usefulness, non-partisan in nature, and over which no cloud of serious controversy looms.Up to a Point: In Defense of Lobbyists
P. J. O’Rourke
October 25, 2014
Benign secondary headaches include headaches associated with the cold, flu, or sinus infections.How to Destroy Your Headaches
Dr. Anand Veeravagu, MD, Tej Azad
June 23, 2014
Gentleness and mercy should blend their benign influences with justice.Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I
Francis Augustus Cox
For a few moments she listened to them, feeling elderly and benign.Howards End
E. M. Forster
So, from their benign choice, he had really nothing to say to Lydia or Anne.The Prisoner
The expression of these benign features did not disgrace their symmetry.Confessions Of Con Cregan
Charles James Lever
It turned the great rough figure to a spirit, great and tender and benign.The Beach of Dreams
H. De Vere Stacpoole
- showing kindliness; genial
- (of soil, climate, etc) mild; gentle
- favourable; propitious
- pathol (of a tumour, etc) not threatening to life or health; not malignant
Word Origin and History for benign
early 14c., from Old French benigne (12c., "kind, benign, merciful, gracious;" Modern French bénin, fem. bénigne), from Latin benignus "kindly, kindhearted, friendly, generous," literally "well born," from bene "well" (see bene-) + gignere "to bear, beget," from genus "birth" (see genus). For similar sense evolution, cf. gentle, kind (adj.), generous. Related: Benignly.
- Of no danger to health, especially relating to a tumorous growth; not malignant.
- Not life-threatening or severe, and likely to respond to treatment, as a tumor that is not malignant. Compare malignant.
A descriptive term for conditions that present no danger to life or well-being. Benign is the opposite of malignant.