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 formsbe·nev·o·lent·ly, adverbbe·nev·o·lent·ness, nounnon·be·nev·o·lent, adjectivenon·be·nev·o·lent·ly, adverbpseu·do·be·nev·o·lent, adjectivepseu·do·be·nev·o·lent·ly, adverbqua·si-be·nev·o·lent, adjectivequa·si-be·nev·o·lent·ly, adverbsu·per·be·nev·o·lent, adjectivesu·per·be·nev·o·lent·ly, adverbun·be·nev·o·lent, adjectiveun·be·nev·o·lent·ly, adverb
Can be confusedbeneficent beneficial benevolent

Synonyms for benevolent

Antonyms for benevolent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for benevolently

Contemporary Examples of benevolently

Historical Examples of benevolently

  • Mrs. Riley counted herself too benevolently shrewd for that.

    Dr. Sevier

    George W. Cable

  • "This is a very bad business, my dear fellow," he said benevolently.

    The Pirates of Ersatz

    Murray Leinster

  • Isaac laid a hand upon his shoulder and smiled at him benevolently.

    The heart of happy hollow

    Paul Laurence Dunbar

  • "He can have his choice of any piece in the box," thought Jerry benevolently.

    Jerry's Charge Account

    Hazel Hutchins Wilson

  • He was smiling as benevolently as if he could embrace the whole world.

    Agatha's Husband

    Dinah Maria Craik (AKA: Dinah Maria Mulock)

British Dictionary definitions for benevolently



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 Formsbenevolently, 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

Word Origin and History for benevolently



mid-15c., "wishing to do good, kindly," from Middle French benivolent and directly from Latin benevolentem (nominative benevolens) "wishing (someone) well, benevolent," related to benevolentia "good feeling" (see benevolence). Related: Benevolently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper