[ buh-nev-uh-luhnt ]
See synonyms for: benevolentbenevolently on

  1. characterized by or expressing goodwill or kindly feelings: a benevolent attitude; her benevolent smile.

  2. desiring to help others; charitable: gifts from several benevolent alumni.

  1. intended for benefits rather than profit: a benevolent institution.

Origin of benevolent

First recorded in 1425–75; late Middle English, from Latin benevolent-, stem of benevolēns “kindhearted, well-wishing,” from bene- bene- + volēns “willing, wishing” (present participle of velle “to want, wish”); cf. voluntary

Other words for benevolent

Opposites for benevolent

Other words from benevolent

  • be·nev·o·lent·ly, adverb
  • be·nev·o·lent·ness, noun
  • non·be·nev·o·lent, adjective
  • non·be·nev·o·lent·ly, adverb
  • pseu·do·be·nev·o·lent, adjective
  • pseu·do·be·nev·o·lent·ly, adverb
  • qua·si-be·nev·o·lent, adjective
  • qua·si-be·nev·o·lent·ly, adverb
  • su·per·be·nev·o·lent, adjective
  • su·per·be·nev·o·lent·ly, adverb
  • un·be·nev·o·lent, adjective
  • un·be·nev·o·lent·ly, adverb

Words that may be confused with benevolent

Words Nearby benevolent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use benevolent in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for benevolent


/ (bɪˈnɛvələnt) /

  1. intending or showing goodwill; kindly; friendly: a benevolent smile; a benevolent old man

  2. doing good or giving aid to others, rather than making profit; charitable: a benevolent organization

Origin of benevolent

C15: from Latin benevolēns, from bene well + velle to wish

Derived forms of benevolent

  • benevolently, 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