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3 definitions found
 for benevolent
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  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]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  benevolent
      adj 1: intending or showing kindness; "a benevolent society"
      2: showing or motivated by sympathy and understanding and
         generosity; "was charitable in his opinions of others";
         "kindly criticism"; "a kindly act"; "sympathetic words"; "a
         large-hearted mentor" [syn: charitable, benevolent,
         kindly, sympathetic, good-hearted, openhearted,
         large-hearted]
      3: generous in providing aid to others [syn: benevolent,
         freehearted]
      4: generous in assistance to the poor; "a benevolent
         contributor"; "eleemosynary relief"; "philanthropic
         contributions" [syn: beneficent, benevolent,
         eleemosynary, philanthropic]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  108 Moby Thesaurus words for "benevolent":
     accommodating, advantageous, affable, agreeable, almsgiving,
     altruistic, amiable, amicable, auspicious, beneficent, beneficial,
     benign, benignant, big, bighearted, bon, bonny, braw, bueno,
     capital, caring, charitable, chivalrous, cogent, commendable,
     compassionate, complaisant, compliant, conciliatory, considerate,
     cooperative, decent, eleemosynary, elegant, estimable, excellent,
     expedient, fair, famous, favorable, fine, forbearing, forgiving,
     freehearted, friendly, generous, good, goodly, gracious, grand,
     greathearted, healthy, helpful, humane, humanitarian, indulgent,
     kind, kindly, kindly-disposed, largehearted, laudable, liberal,
     lofty, long-suffering, longanimous, magnanimous, neighborly, nice,
     noble, obliging, open-handed, openhanded, overindulgent,
     overpermissive, patient, permissive, philanthropic, placable,
     pleasant, profitable, propitious, public-spirited, regal, royal,
     salutary, skillful, sound, sparing, splendid, sympathetic,
     tenderhearted, thoughtful, tolerant, unresentful, unrevengeful,
     useful, valid, very good, virtuous, warm-hearted, welfare,
     welfare statist, welfarist, well-affected, well-disposed,
     well-intentioned, well-meaning, well-meant
  
  

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