[buh-nef-uh-suh nt]


doing good or causing good to be done; conferring benefits; kindly in action or purpose.

Origin of beneficent

First recorded in 1610–20; benefic(ence) + -ent
Related formsbe·nef·i·cent·ly, adverbnon·be·nef·i·cent, adjectivenon·be·nef·i·cent·ly, adverbun·be·nef·i·cent, adjectiveun·be·nef·i·cent·ly, adverb
Can be confusedbeneficent beneficial benevolentbeneficent munificent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for beneficent

Contemporary Examples of beneficent

Historical Examples of beneficent

  • It is the law of the land—the just, holy, beneficent law, which is no respecter of persons.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • Let the latter do it for him, and, if need be, return to the "beneficent whip."

  • The beneficent source had begun to flow once more, as if it were inexhaustible.


    Emile Zola

  • It was a beneficent monarch, but it brooked no denial of its overlordship.

  • Why, then, does any dishonour attach to a beneficent occupation?



British Dictionary definitions for beneficent



charitable; generous
Derived Formsbeneficently, adverb

Word Origin for beneficent

C17: from Latin beneficent-, from beneficus; see benefice
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

Word Origin and History for beneficent

1610s, "doing good, charitable," probably from beneficent on model of magnificent, etc.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper