[ buh-nev-uh-luhnt ]
/ bəˈnɛv ə lənt /


characterized by or expressing goodwill or kindly feelings: a benevolent attitude; her benevolent smile.
desiring to help others; charitable: gifts from several benevolent alumni.
intended for benefits rather than profit: a benevolent institution.

Origin of benevolent

1425–75; late Middle English < Latin benevolent- (stem of benevolēns) kindhearted (bene- bene- + vol- wish (akin to will1) + -ent- -ent)

Related forms

Can be confused

beneficent beneficial benevolent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for benevolently

British Dictionary definitions for benevolently


/ (bɪˈnɛvələnt) /


intending or showing goodwill; kindly; friendlya benevolent smile; a benevolent old man
doing good or giving aid to others, rather than making profit; charitablea benevolent organization

Derived Forms

benevolently, adverb

Word Origin for benevolent

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