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[bih-nig-nuh nt] /bɪˈnɪg nənt/
kind, especially to inferiors; gracious:
a benignant sovereign.
exerting a good influence; beneficial:
the benignant authority of the new president.
Pathology. benign.
Origin of benignant
1775-85; benign + -ant, modeled on malignant
Related forms
[bih-nig-nuh n-see] /bɪˈnɪg nən si/ (Show IPA),
benignantly, adverb
unbenignant, adjective
unbenignantly, adverb
1. benevolent, benign, generous, charitable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for benignant
Historical Examples
  • The genii of the East have woven this banner from the rays of benignant stars.

    Leila, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Mr Casby shook his head, in Placid and benignant generality.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • They replace the three benignant Baba Yagas of Russian stories.

    Russian Fairy Tales W. R. S. Ralston
  • "You will hold the basin," said he, directing me with his calm, benignant eye.

    Ernest Linwood Caroline Lee Hentz
  • The benignant laws of the Incas were replaced by the rapine of the conquerors.

  • “Do not call it foolish, Valerie,” returned the old man with a benignant smile.

    Valerie Frederick Marryat
  • His hopes were high, his benignant star was once more in the ascendant.

    The Bush Boys Captain Mayne Reid
  • With one of his benignant smiles the captain resumed his progress.

  • With a benignant smile Bladud said that he had merely asked who she was.

    The Hot Swamp R.M. Ballantyne
  • "I have another favor to ask," said he, and this time with his most benignant smile.

    That Affair Next Door Anna Katharine Green
British Dictionary definitions for benignant


kind; gracious, as a king to his subjects
a less common word for benign (sense 3), benign (sense 4)
Derived Forms
benignancy, noun
benignantly, adverb
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 benignant

c.1782, from benign + -ant (see -ent); on model of malignant. Related: Benignantly; benignancy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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