Benevolent
Benevolent Be*nev"o*lent, a. [L. benevolens, -entis; bene well (adv. of bonus good) + volens, p. pr. of volo I will, I wish. See {Bounty}, and {Voluntary}.] Having a disposition to do good; possessing or manifesting love to mankind, and a desire to promote their prosperity and happiness; disposed to give to good objects; kind; charitable. -- {Be*nev"o*lent*ly}, adv. [1913 Webster]

Syn: {Benevolent}, {Beneficent}.

Usage: Etymologically considered, benevolent implies wishing well to others, and beneficent, doing well. But by degrees the word benevolent has been widened to include not only feelings, but actions; thus, we speak of benevolent operations, benevolent labors for the public good, benevolent societies. In like manner, beneficent is now often applied to feelings; thus, we speak of the beneficent intentions of a donor. This extension of the terms enables us to mark nicer shades of meaning. Thus, the phrase ``benevolent labors'' turns attention to the source of these labors, viz., benevolent feeling; while beneficent would simply mark them as productive of good. So, ``beneficent intentions'' point to the feelings of the donor as bent upon some specific good act; while ``benevolent intentions'' would only denote a general wish and design to do good. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • benevolent — 1 *charitable, philanthropic, eleemosynary, humanitarian, humane, altruistic Analogous words: benign, benignant, kindly, *kind: generous, *liberal, bountiful, bounteous, openhanded: obliging, complaisant, *amiable Antonyms: malevolent Contrasted… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • benevolent — I adjective accommodating, affable, agreeable, altruistic, amiable, amicable, bearing good will, beneficient, benevolus, benign, big hearted, bounteous, bountiful, charitable, complacent, condolent, considerate, cooperative, cordial, decent,… …   Law dictionary

  • bénévolent — ⇒BÉNÉVOLENT, ENTE, adj. Rare, littér. vieilli. [En parlant d une pers. ou de l expression hum.] Qui se montre bienveillant, d une bonté indulgente : • 1. ... il semblait qu une similitude d âge et de cœur réunît dans le groupe des goûts anciens M …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • benevolent — (adj.) mid 15c., wishing to do good, kindly, from M.Fr. benivolent and directly from L. benevolentem (nom. benevolens) wishing (someone) well, benevolent, related to benevolentia good feeling (see BENEVOLENCE (Cf. benevolence)). Related:… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Benevolent — (v. lat.), wohlwollend, geneigt; daher Benevolenz, Geneigtheit, Wohlwollen, Gunst …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Benevolént — (lat.), wohlwollend; Benevolenz (benevolentia), das Wohlwollen …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Benevolént — (lat.), wohlwollend; Benevolénz, Wohlwollen, Geneigtheit, Gunst. Benevŏle (benevolentissĭme), lector, geneigter (sehr geneigter) Leser …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • benevolent — [adj] charitable, kind all heart, altruistic, beneficent, benign, big, big hearted, bounteous, bountiful, caring, chivalrous, compassionate, considerate, generous, helpful, humane, humanitarian, kindhearted, liberal, magnanimous, philanthropic,… …   New thesaurus

  • benevolent — ► ADJECTIVE 1) well meaning and kindly. 2) (of an organization) charitable rather than profit making. DERIVATIVES benevolence noun benevolently adverb. ORIGIN Old French benivolent, from Latin bene well + velle to wish …   English terms dictionary

  • benevolent — [bə nev′ələnt] adj. [ME & OFr < L benevolens < bene, well + volens, prp. of velle, to wish: see WILL1] 1. doing or inclined to do good; kindly; charitable 2. characterized by or resulting from benevolence SYN. KIND benevolently adv …   English World dictionary

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