benign

[bih-nahyn]
See more synonyms for benign on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. having a kindly disposition; gracious: a benign king.
  2. showing or expressive of gentleness or kindness: a benign smile.
  3. favorable; propitious: a series of benign omens and configurations in the heavens.
  4. (of weather) salubrious; healthful; pleasant or beneficial.
  5. Pathology. not malignant; self-limiting.

Origin of benign

1275–1325; Middle English benigne < Anglo-French, Old French benigne (feminine), benin (masculine) < Latin benignus 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

Synonyms for benign

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Antonyms for benign

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for benign

Contemporary Examples of benign

Historical Examples of benign

  • Gentleness and mercy should blend their benign influences with justice.

  • For a few moments she listened to them, feeling elderly and benign.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • So, from their benign choice, he had really nothing to say to Lydia or Anne.

    The Prisoner

    Alice Brown

  • The expression of these benign features did not disgrace their symmetry.

    Confessions Of Con Cregan

    Charles James Lever

  • It turned the great rough figure to a spirit, great and tender and benign.

    The Beach of Dreams

    H. De Vere Stacpoole


British Dictionary definitions for benign

benign

adjective
  1. showing kindliness; genial
  2. (of soil, climate, etc) mild; gentle
  3. favourable; propitious
  4. pathol (of a tumour, etc) not threatening to life or health; not malignant
Derived Formsbenignly, adverb

Word Origin for benign

C14: from Old French benigne, from Latin benignus, from bene well + gignere to produce
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 benign
adj.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

benign in Medicine

benign

[bĭ-nīn]
adj.
  1. Of no danger to health, especially relating to a tumorous growth; not malignant.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

benign in Science

benign

[bĭ-nīn]
  1. Not life-threatening or severe, and likely to respond to treatment, as a tumor that is not malignant. Compare malignant.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

benign in Culture

benign

[(bi-neyen)]

A descriptive term for conditions that present no danger to life or well-being. Benign is the opposite of malignant.

Note

The term benign is used when describing tumors or growths that do not threaten the health of an individual.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.