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[jen-er-uh s] /ˈdʒɛn ər əs/
liberal in giving or sharing; unselfish:
a generous patron of the arts; a generous gift.
free from meanness or smallness of mind or character; magnanimous.
large; abundant; ample:
a generous portion of pie.
rich or strong in flavor:
a generous wine.
fertile; prolific:
generous soil.
Origin of generous
1580-90; < Middle French généreux < Latin generōsus of noble birth, equivalent to gener- (see gender2) + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
generously, adverb
generousness, noun
overgenerous, adjective
overgenerously, adverb
quasi-generous, adjective
quasi-generously, adverb
supergenerous, adjective
supergenerously, adverb
1. open-handed, free, unstinting. 2. high-minded, noble, big. 3. plentiful, copious. 5. fruitful.
1. selfish. 2. mean. 3. meager. 5. barren.
Synonym Study
1.Generous, charitable, liberal, bountiful, munificent all describe persons who give to others something of value, or the acts of such persons. Generous stresses the warm and sympathetic nature of the giver: a generous gift; generous in praise of the work of others. Charitable places stress on both the goodness and kindness of the giver and the indigence or need of the receiver: charitable assistance to the needy; a charitable person, always willing to help those less fortunate than herself. Liberal, in this connection, emphasizes the size of the gift, the largesse and openhandedness of the giver: a liberal contribution to the endowment fund. Bountiful implies effusive, unstinted giving and a sense of abundance or plenty: bountiful and unrestricted support for the museum; a bountiful return for his efforts. Munificent refers to gifts or awards so large and striking as to evoke amazement or admiration: a life income, a truly munificent reward for his loyalty; a munificent contribution, larger by far than any other. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for overgenerous
Historical Examples
  • How did she know that generosity even among the overgenerous was infectious?

    Mrs. Raffles

    John Kendrick Bangs
  • On it there was a diminutive pancake which had made itself from the drippings of an overgenerous spoonful.

    The Wrong Woman

    Charles D. Stewart
  • Literature is not an overgenerous paymaster, and with a growing family expenses tend to increase in a larger ratio than income.

    A Backward Glance at Eighty

    Charles A. Murdock
  • "Nature was overgenerous with that young lady," Farrel decided, as he made his way up to the smoking-car.

    The Pride of Palomar

    Peter B. Kyne
British Dictionary definitions for overgenerous


/ˌəʊvəˈdʒɛnərəs; -ˈdʒɛnrəs/
excessively willing and liberal in giving away one's time, money, etc


/ˈdʒɛnərəs; ˈdʒɛnrəs/
willing and liberal in giving away one's money, time, etc; munificent
free from pettiness in character and mind
full or plentiful: a generous portion
(of wine) rich in alcohol
(of a soil type) fertile
Derived Forms
generously, adverb
generousness, noun
Word Origin
C16: via Old French from Latin generōsus nobly born, from genus race; see genus
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 overgenerous



1580s, "of noble birth," from Middle French généreux, from Latin generosus "of noble birth," figuratively "magnanimous, generous," from genus (genitive generis) "race, stock" (see genus). Secondary senses of "unselfish" (1690s) and "plentiful" (1610s) were present in French and in Latin. Related: Generously; generousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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