or lar·gesse

[lahr-jes, lahr-jis]


generous bestowal of gifts.
the gift or gifts, as of money, so bestowed.
Obsolete. generosity; liberality.

Origin of largess

1175–1225; Middle English largesse < Old French; see large, -ice
Can be confusedlarge largess Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for largesse

Contemporary Examples of largesse

Historical Examples of largesse

  • The largesse of which he was so prodigal has but an arbitrary and conventional value.

    Views and Reviews

    William Ernest Henley

  • All that had been withheld from him, by the mere experience of missing, he was able to bestow with largesse.

    The Lovely Lady

    Mary Austin

  • There was a brilliant full moon, showering its largesse over the hills.

    The Cricket

    Marjorie Cooke

  • After the frolic of the largesse was over, the king and queen rose to depart.

    Richard III

    Jacob Abbott

  • But what about the clothes and the stately progress and the largesse?

British Dictionary definitions for largesse




the generous bestowal of gifts, favours, or money
the things so bestowed
generosity of spirit or attitude

Word Origin for largesse

C13: from Old French, from large
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 largesse

also largess, "willingness to give or spend freely; munificence," c.1200, from Old French largesse "a bounty, munificence," from Vulgar Latin *largitia "abundance," from Latin largus "abundant" (see large). In medieval theology, "the virtue whose opposite is avarice, and whose excess is prodigality" ["Middle English Dictionary"]. The Old French suffix -esse is from Latin -itia, added to adjectives to form nouns of quality (cf. duress, riches).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper