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[buh-nef-uh-suh nt] /bəˈnɛf ə sənt/
doing good or causing good to be done; conferring benefits; kindly in action or purpose.
Origin of beneficent
1610-20; benefic(ence) + -ent
Related forms
beneficently, adverb
nonbeneficent, adjective
nonbeneficently, adverb
unbeneficent, adjective
unbeneficently, adverb
Can be confused
beneficent, beneficial, benevolent.
beneficent, munificent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for beneficent
  • They should rather be regarded in the light of boons presented by beneficent nature, for with meat came tooth-picks.
  • For those in a beneficent mood, the centre is also accepting donations.
  • He will be on again soon to talk about those usually beneficent bacteria.
  • It exalts and purifies the beholder, and exerts a moral influence in every way salutary and beneficent.
  • Mort was a warm, wise and beneficent individual who will be sorely missed.
  • He was by no means always right in his conclusions or beneficent in his influence.
  • Her father is a beneficent presence on the show, but one represented only by a speakerphone.
  • They have ridden the pay-per-view wave to magnificent riches and are now seeking to appear beneficent.
  • Though apparently it means submission to a beneficent law, in reality the sign is a heartless, cruel joke.
  • We are escorted on every hand through life by spiritual agents, and a beneficent purpose lies in wait for us.
British Dictionary definitions for beneficent


charitable; generous
Derived Forms
beneficently, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin beneficent-, from beneficus; see benefice
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for beneficent

1610s, "doing good, charitable," probably from beneficent on model of magnificent, etc.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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