See more synonyms for generous on
  1. liberal in giving or sharing; unselfish: a generous patron of the arts; a generous gift.
  2. free from meanness or smallness of mind or character; magnanimous.
  3. large; abundant; ample: a generous portion of pie.
  4. rich or strong in flavor: a generous wine.
  5. fertile; prolific: generous soil.

Origin of generous

1580–90; < Middle French généreux < Latin generōsus of noble birth, equivalent to gener- (see gender2) + -ōsus -ous
Related formsgen·er·ous·ly, adverbgen·er·ous·ness, nouno·ver·gen·er·ous, adjectiveo·ver·gen·er·ous·ly, adverbqua·si-gen·er·ous, adjectivequa·si-gen·er·ous·ly, adverbsu·per·gen·er·ous, adjectivesu·per·gen·er·ous·ly, adverb

Synonyms for generous

See more synonyms for on
1. open-handed, free, unstinting. 2. high-minded, noble, big. 3. plentiful, copious. 5. fruitful.

Synonym study

1. Generous, charitable, liberal, bountiful, munificent all describe persons who give to others something of value, or the acts of such persons. Generous stresses the warm and sympathetic nature of the giver: a generous gift; generous in praise of the work of others. Charitable places stress on both the goodness and kindness of the giver and the indigence or need of the receiver: charitable assistance to the needy; a charitable person, always willing to help those less fortunate than herself. Liberal, in this connection, emphasizes the size of the gift, the largesse and openhandedness of the giver: a liberal contribution to the endowment fund. Bountiful implies effusive, unstinted giving and a sense of abundance or plenty: bountiful and unrestricted support for the museum; a bountiful return for his efforts. Munificent refers to gifts or awards so large and striking as to evoke amazement or admiration: a life income, a truly munificent reward for his loyalty; a munificent contribution, larger by far than any other.

Antonyms for generous

1. selfish. 2. mean. 3. meager. 5. barren. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for generous

Contemporary Examples of generous

Historical Examples of generous

  • He looked absently at the sandwich, and bit a generous semicircle into it.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • The offer was thankfully accepted, and the generous merchant was as good as his word.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • But he was a generous man and all meanness of spirit was foreign to his soul.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • She made no complaint of him, and even spoke of him as generous.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • They take not, I own, the right method with so generous a spirit.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

British Dictionary definitions for generous


  1. willing and liberal in giving away one's money, time, etc; munificent
  2. free from pettiness in character and mind
  3. full or plentifula generous portion
  4. (of wine) rich in alcohol
  5. (of a soil type) fertile
Derived Formsgenerously, adverbgenerousness, noun

Word Origin for generous

C16: via Old French from Latin generōsus nobly born, from genus race; see genus
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 generous

1580s, "of noble birth," from Middle French généreux, from Latin generosus "of noble birth," figuratively "magnanimous, generous," from genus (genitive generis) "race, stock" (see genus). Secondary senses of "unselfish" (1690s) and "plentiful" (1610s) were present in French and in Latin. Related: Generously; generousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper