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
1275–1325;Middle Englishbenigne < Anglo-French,Old Frenchbenigne (feminine), benin (masculine) < Latinbenignus kind, generous, equivalent to beni-, combining form of bonus good (see bene-) + -gnus, derivative of the base of gignere to beget (see genitor, genus), hence, perhaps, “good by nature”; cf. malign
Related formsbe·nign·ly, adverbsu·per·be·nign, adjectivesu·per·be·nign·ly, adverbun·be·nign, adjectiveun·be·nign·ly, adverb
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.