kind, especially to inferiors; gracious: a benignant sovereign.
exerting a good influence; beneficial: the benignant authority of the new president.
Pathology. benign.

Origin of benignant

1775–85; benign + -ant, modeled on malignant
Related formsbe·nig·nan·cy [bih-nig-nuhn-see] /bɪˈnɪg nən si/, nounbe·nig·nant·ly, adverbun·be·nig·nant, adjectiveun·be·nig·nant·ly, adverb

Synonyms for benignant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for benignant

Historical Examples of benignant

  • The genii of the East have woven this banner from the rays of benignant stars.

    Leila, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Mr Casby shook his head, in Placid and benignant generality.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • They replace the three benignant Baba Yagas of Russian stories.

    Russian Fairy Tales

    W. R. S. Ralston

  • "You will hold the basin," said he, directing me with his calm, benignant eye.

    Ernest Linwood

    Caroline Lee Hentz

  • The benignant laws of the Incas were replaced by the rapine of the conquerors.

British Dictionary definitions for benignant



kind; gracious, as a king to his subjects
a less common word for benign (def. 3), benign (def. 4)
Derived Formsbenignancy, nounbenignantly, 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

Word Origin and History for benignant

c.1782, from benign + -ant (see -ent); on model of malignant. Related: Benignantly; benignancy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper