the state or quality of being kind: kindness to animals.
a kind act; favor: his many kindnesses to me.
kind behavior: I will never forget your kindness.
friendly feeling; liking.

Origin of kindness

First recorded in 1250–1300, kindness is from the Middle English word kindenes. See kind1, -ness
Related formsself-kind·ness, noun

Synonyms for kindness

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

Examples from the Web for kindness

Contemporary Examples of kindness

Historical Examples of kindness

  • It won't be much, but I should like to do it on account of his kindness about the boat.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • But do try to believe, at the same time, that my own selfishness has been a kindness to you.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • And she never so much as dreamt that he would cast an eye on her save in kindness.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • This object, through the kindness of friends, was accomplished.

  • He was resolved to let me see, that I should have nothing to expect from his kindness.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

British Dictionary definitions for kindness



the practice or quality of being kind
a kind, considerate, or helpful act
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 kindness

c.1300, "courtesy, noble deeds," from kind (adj.) + -ness. Meaning "kind deeds; kind feelings" is from late 14c. Old English kyndnes meant "nation; produce, an increase."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with kindness


see kill with kindness; milk of human kindness.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.