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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 benignantly
Historical Examples
  • They stopped as I approached, and Don Balthasar listened to me benignantly.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • "Do not distress yourself, my dear Miss Kendall," she said, benignantly.

    Miss Pat at School

    Pemberton Ginther
  • He smiled, benignantly, and granted my request with a saintly amiability.

    A Fair Penitent Wilkie Collins
  • “You see I have brought him back safe after all,” said the major, benignantly smiling.

    Paddy Finn W. H. G. Kingston
  • "I surely hope so, Mrs. Brenton," he answered her benignantly.

    The Brentons Anna Chapin Ray
  • The seaman turned to him, however, with a benignantly apologetic smile.

    Blue Lights R.M. Ballantyne
  • He heard me benignantly, but said he regretted that it was not in his power to oblige me.

  • "I cannot tell; for I do not know when you will be radically cured," said the doctor, benignantly.

  • "I do, indeed," and Mrs. Tuke smiled upon her visitor most benignantly.

    A Gamble with Life Silas K. Hocking
  • Doth jealousy smile so benignantly and offer its house to the bride?

    Pierre; or The Ambiguities Herman Melville
British Dictionary definitions for benignantly


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 benignantly



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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