- having a kindly disposition; gracious: a benign king.
- showing or expressive of gentleness or kindness: a benign smile.
- favorable; propitious: a series of benign omens and configurations in the heavens.
- (of weather) salubrious; healthful; pleasant or beneficial.
- Pathology. not malignant; self-limiting.
Origin of benign
Synonyms for benign
Antonyms for benign
- showing kindliness; genial
- (of soil, climate, etc) mild; gentle
- favourable; propitious
- pathol (of a tumour, etc) not threatening to life or health; not malignant
Word Origin for benign
early 14c., from Old French benigne (12c., "kind, benign, merciful, gracious;" Modern French bénin, fem. bénigne), from Latin benignus "kindly, kindhearted, friendly, generous," literally "well born," from bene "well" (see bene-) + gignere "to bear, beget," from genus "birth" (see genus). For similar sense evolution, cf. gentle, kind (adj.), generous. Related: Benignly.
- Of no danger to health, especially relating to a tumorous growth; not malignant.
- Not life-threatening or severe, and likely to respond to treatment, as a tumor that is not malignant. Compare malignant.
A descriptive term for conditions that present no danger to life or well-being. Benign is the opposite of malignant.