Benevolence Be*nev"o*lence, n. [OF. benevolence, L. benevolentia. See {Benevolent}.] 1. The disposition to do good; good will; charitableness; love of mankind, accompanied with a desire to promote their happiness. [1913 Webster]

The wakeful benevolence of the gospel. --Chalmers. [1913 Webster]

2. An act of kindness; good done; charity given. [1913 Webster]

3. A species of compulsory contribution or tax, which has sometimes been illegally exacted by arbitrary kings of England, and falsely represented as a gratuity. [1913 Webster]

Syn: {Benevolence}, {Beneficence}, {Munificence}.

Usage: Benevolence marks a disposition made up of a choice and desire for the happiness of others. Beneficence marks the working of this disposition in dispensing good on a somewhat broad scale. Munificence shows the same disposition, but acting on a still broader scale, in conferring gifts and favors. These are not necessarily confined to objects of immediate utility. One may show his munificence in presents of pictures or jewelry, but this would not be beneficence. Benevolence of heart; beneficence of life; munificence in the encouragement of letters. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • bénévolence — ⇒BÉNÉVOLENCE, subst. fém. Vx ou littér., rare. [En parlant d une pers., de son comportement avec autrui] Disposition à être aimable et bienveillant. Taper sur l épaule avec bénévolence (QUENEAU, Zazie dans le métro, 1959, p. 119). Synon.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Benevolence — is the expression of kindness and altruism. In his book Unrugged Individualism , Objectivist author David Kelley defines it as a commitment to achieving the values derivable from life with other people in society, by treating them as potential… …   Wikipedia

  • benevolence — Benevolence, Acquerir petit à petit la benevolence d aucun, Colligere beneuolentiam alicuius. Tascher à acquester la benevolence d aucun, Consectari alicuius beneuolentiam largitione …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Benevolence — (engl., spr. Binewwolens), freiwillige Steuer, vom König Eduard IV. von England eingeführt, von Heinrich VII. beibehalten …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • benevolence — I (act of kindness) noun assistance, benefaction, beneficence, benevolentia, boon, charitable effort, charity, favor, good deed, good treatment, good turn, helpfulness, kind office, kind treatment, philanthropy, relief, service, succor, support… …   Law dictionary

  • benevolence — (n.) c.1400, disposition to do good, from O.Fr. benivolence and directly from L. benevolentia good feeling, good will, kindness, from bene well (see BENE (Cf. bene )) + volantem (nom. volens) prp. of velle to wish (see WILL (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • benevolence — [n] charity altruism, amity, comity, compassion, feeling, friendliness, friendship, generosity, gift, goodness, good will, humanity, kindheartedness, kindness, sympathy; concept 633 Ant. animosity, greediness, ill will, malevolence, meanness,… …   New thesaurus

  • benevolence — [bə nev′ə ləns] n. [ME & OFr < L benevolentia: see BENEVOLENT] 1. an inclination to do good; kindliness 2. a kindly, charitable act or gift; beneficence 3. a forced loan formerly levied by some English kings on their subjects …   English World dictionary

  • Benevolence — (Roget s Thesaurus) < N PARAG:Benevolence >N GRP: N 1 Sgm: N 1 benevolence benevolence Christian charity Sgm: N 1 God s love God s love God s grace Sgm: N 1 good will good will Sgm: N 1 philanthropy philanthropy &c. 910 Sgm: N …   English dictionary for students

  • benevolence — /beuh nev euh leuhns/, n. 1. desire to do good to others; goodwill; charitableness: to be filled with benevolence toward one s fellow creatures. 2. an act of kindness; a charitable gift. 3. Eng. Hist. a forced contribution to the sovereign. [1350 …   Universalium

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