[ jen-uh-ros-i-tee ]
/ ˌdʒɛn əˈrɒs ɪ ti /
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noun, plural gen·er·os·i·ties.
readiness or liberality in giving.
freedom from meanness or smallness of mind or character.
a generous act: We thanked him for his many generosities.
largeness or fullness; amplitude.
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Origin of generosity

1375–1425; late Middle English generosite<Latin generōsitās, equivalent to generōs(us) generous + -itās-ity


o·ver·gen·er·os·i·ty, nounsu·per·gen·er·os·i·ty, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does generosity mean?

Generosity is the spirit and action of freely and frequently giving to others.

Generosity can also refer to an overall spirit of kindness, but this is less common.

Example: If there’s one thing she will be remembered for, it’s her generosity—she was extremely generous with her money, her time, and her effort.

Where does generosity come from?

The first records of generosity in English come from around the 1400s. Generosity is the noun form of the adjective generous (which is actually recorded later). The suffix -ity is used to make it into a noun. Both generosity and generous derive from the Latin generōsus, meaning “generous” or “of noble birth” (gentle, as in gentleman, is based on a similar root.)

Prior to the 1600s, generosity was mostly used to refer to the status of being a noble or aristocrat. From there, the meaning changed to refer to the kind of noble qualities that aristocrats were supposed to have, such as being fair-minded and above pettiness. This meaning is still used, but generosity now most commonly refers to the tendency to be generous in giving to others. Generosity is most often associated with giving money, but it can involve many things, including time, gifts, or other resources. Many religions regard generosity as a virtue. In that context, generosity is sometimes distinguished from charity in this way: generosity is the willingness to give no matter the situation, while charity is most often associated with giving to people who are poor or otherwise in need.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to generosity?

  • overgenerosity (noun)
  • supergenerosity (noun)
  • generous (adjective)

What are some synonyms for generosity?

What are some words that share a root or word element with generosity

What are some words that often get used in discussing generosity?

How is generosity used in real life?

Many people associate generosity with giving money, but there are many ways to be generous.



Try using generosity!

Which of the following things can be given to exhibit generosity?

A. money
B. time
C. resources
D. all of the above

How to use generosity in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for generosity

/ (ˌdʒɛnəˈrɒsɪtɪ) /

noun plural -ties
willingness and liberality in giving away one's money, time, etc; magnanimity
freedom from pettiness in character and mind
a generous act
abundance; plenty
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