The Meaning of Benevolent: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of benevolent? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word benevolent, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word benevolent mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary and the American Heritage Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, the word benevolent is an adjective that means kind and fair. The word benevolent is four syllables – be-ne-vol-ent, and the pronunciation of benevolent is bɪnevələnt.

There are many other languages that also contain words meaning benevolent. You may notice that some of these words look and sound similar to the word benevolent. These are called cognates. A cognate is when two words in different languages look and sound similar, and also mean the same thing. These are often formed when two words have the same root or language of origin such as Latin or Greek. This list of translations for the word benevolent is provided by Word Sense but you could also find them in a Spanish dictionary, French electronic resource or German dictionary. 

  •  Portuguese: benevolente‎
  •  German: wohlwollend‎
  •  Macedonian: добронамерен‎
  •  Dutch: welwillend‎
  •  Georgian: კე­თილ­მო­სურ­ნე‎
  •  Russian: благожела́тельный‎, доброжела́тельный‎, благоскло́нный‎, до́брый‎, ми́лостивый‎
  •  Bulgarian: доброжела́телен‎, благоскло́нен‎
  •  French: bienveillant‎ (masc.), bienveillante‎ (fem.)
  •  Sorani: دڵ سۆز‎
  •  Persian: نیک‌کامه‎ (nikkâme), خیرخواه‎ (xeyrxâh)
  •  Norwegian: velvillig‎
  •  Romanian: binevoitor‎ (masc.), binevoitoare‎ (fem.)
  •  Catalan: benevolent‎ (masc.)
  •  Japanese: 優しい‎ (やさしい, yasashii)
  •  Greek: καλοήθης‎
  •  Mandarin: 仁慈‎ (réncí), 慈善‎ (císhàn), 善良‎ (shànliáng)

What is the origin of the word benevolent?

According to Etymonline, the 15th century word benevolent has been used since Late Middle English and comes from the Old French benivolent and the Latin benevolentem, the nominative benevolens/Latin benevolēns. The stem of benevolēns is related to the Latin benevolentia, from the root bene meaning good or well and the Latin volentem, the nominative volens/volēns and present participle of velle meaning to wish. One can add the suffix ly to form the c15 benevolent-ly adv or ness to form benevolence. This comes from Proto-Indo-European roots wel in first known use.

How can the word benevolent be used in a sentence?

The word benevolent can be used in many different circumstances to refer to a person’s kindness or act of charity. Try making flashcards to memorize its definition.

Tompkins-Stange, the benevolent organization provided their sympathy and a gift to the victims. Their benevolent attitude and kindly feelings made the company promoting goodwill receive an award in June.

The benevolent old man never talked about politics or what he did during the disastrous war, bringing people together to a rallying point to end the vicious polarization of people. He believed the American phenomenon of pitting one party against each other would end the function of the country and be the end of any hope. 

The idea of a benevolent billionaire is a false ideology. They simply want a tax exemption code, not benevolent American hegemony.

The theme music from New Jerusalem Music and ASCAP by Joshua Stamper had a benevolent sound.

The benevolent dragons of this universe draw inspiration from characters in the 1960s. The large-hearted mentor dragons provide generosity, a kind disposition, sympathetic words, a kindly act, and kindly criticism of the opinions of others. These were modeled after the benevolent magical dragons of Vietnamese folklore, with a design based on the naga folklore of Thailand

The benevolent alumni of Princeton University started a benevolent fund to provide eleemosynary relief and philanthropic contributions to students in need. They knew this prosperity would lead to good objects in the future, and this coalition of strangers would bring greater good. 

The benevolent philanthropist Willie Morris started a charitable foundation for the town library. The benevolent contributor wanted to provide more books on Eastern mythologies so mankind could learn about manifesting love. He handed out free bookmarks when people would register for a card from his advertisement.

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word benevolent?

There are many different words that a person can use in place of the word benevolent. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same meaning as another word or phrase. Learning synonyms is a great way to expand your English language vocabulary, and can help you avoid repeating yourself. This list of synonyms for the word benevolent is provided by Power Thesaurus. These adjectives mean nice and kind.

  •  noble
  •  philanthropical
  •  kindly
  •  large-hearted
  •  well-meaning
  •  easygoing
  •  big-hearted
  •  supportive
  •  open-handed
  •  clement
  •  comradely
  •  well-disposed
  •  philanthropic
  •  cushionhearted
  •  genial
  •  good-hearted
  •  warm
  •  helpful
  •  indulgent
  •  chummy
  •  lenient
  •  cordial
  •  eleemosynary
  •  affectionate
  •  mild
  •  accommodating
  •  goodhearted
  •  sociable
  •  good
  •  loving
  •  forgiving
  •  giving
  •  friendly
  •  selfless
  •  understanding
  •  good-natured
  •  ungrudging
  •  hospitable
  •  welcoming
  •  buddy-buddy
  •  thoughtful
  •  happy
  •  benignant
  •  humane
  •  prosocial
  •  greathearted
  •  tenderhearted
  •  considerate
  •  outgoing
  •  lavish
  •  public-spirited
  •  openhanded
  •  kind-hearted
  •  amicable
  •  good-humored
  •  companionable
  •  unselfish
  •  openhearted
  •  warmhearted
  •  liberal
  •  bountiful
  •  fatherly
  •  freehearted
  •  kindhearted
  •  agreeable
  •  humanitarian
  •  bighearted
  •  beneficent
  •  self-sacrificing
  •  affable
  •  magnanimous
  •  benign
  •  tolerant
  •  paternal
  •  softhearted
  •  chivalrous
  •  kind
  •  caring
  •  propitious
  •  generous
  •  altruistic
  •  all heart
  •  warm-hearted
  •  unstinting
  •  merciful
  •  munificent
  •  gentle
  •  compassionate
  •  bounteous
  •  congenial
  •  charitable
  •  courteous
  •  neighborly
  •  sympathetic
  •  tender
  •  cheerful
  •  gracious
  •  approachable
  •  amiable
  •  obliging

There are also many different words that mean the opposite of the word benevolent. These are known as antonyms. Learning antonyms is another great way to expand your English language vocabulary. This list of opposite words for the word benevolent is also provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  hateful
  •  inexorable
  •  pitiless
  •  hard-hearted
  •  rancorous
  •  evil
  •  dirty
  •  rude
  •  monstrous
  •  uncaring
  •  niggardly
  •  malicious
  •  not good
  •  fierce
  •  implacable
  •  painful
  •  ruthless
  •  vicious
  •  sinister
  •  lousy
  •  tight
  •  cold-blooded
  •  thoughtless
  •  stingy
  •  relentless
  •  unkind
  •  tough
  •  sadistic
  •  despiteful
  •  mean
  •  selfish
  •  up to no good
  •  vengeful
  •  heartless
  •  self-absorbed
  •  cruel
  •  bad
  •  wicked
  •  chintzy
  •  catty
  •  insensitive
  •  flinty
  •  brutish
  •  hellish
  •  closefisted
  •  tyrannical
  •  vindictive
  •  unsympathetic
  •  inhuman
  •  unnatural
  •  miserly
  •  barbarous
  •  evil-minded
  •  parsimonious
  •  demoniac
  •  merciless
  •  baleful
  •  cheap
  •  self-concerned
  •  self-obsessed
  •  virulent
  •  inhumane
  •  spiteful
  •  depraved
  •  self-centered
  •  not helpful
  •  greedy
  •  sinful
  •  hard
  •  tightfisted
  •  fiendish
  •  ferocious
  •  bad-natured
  •  uncharitable
  •  ungenerous
  •  angry as a bull
  •  murder
  •  poison
  •  callous
  •  bloodthirsty
  •  malignant
  •  unrelenting
  •  rough
  •  harsh
  •  malevolent
  •  bestial
  •  pernicious
  •  waspish
  •  brutal
  •  atrocious
  •  dark
  •  hostile
  •  nasty
  •  bitter
  •  excruciating
  •  murderous
  •  malign
  •  unfeeling
  •  poignant
  •  revengeful

Overall, the word benevolent means nice and kind. This word of the day is an adjective.


  1. Benevolent synonyms – 1 087 Words and Phrases for Benevolent | Power Thesaurus 
  2. Benevolent antonyms – 1 590 Opposites of Benevolent | Power Thesaurus 
  3. benevolent: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  4. benevolent | Origin and meaning of benevolent | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  5. Benevolent definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary