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[bih-nig-nuh nt] /bɪˈnɪg nənt/
kind, especially to inferiors; gracious:
a benignant sovereign.
exerting a good influence; beneficial:
the benignant authority of the new president.
Pathology, benign.
Origin of benignant
1775-85; benign + -ant, modeled on malignant
Related forms
[bih-nig-nuh n-see] /bɪˈnɪg nən si/ (Show IPA),
benignantly, adverb
unbenignant, adjective
unbenignantly, adverb
1. benevolent, benign, generous, charitable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for benignant
Historical Examples
  • "You will hold the basin," said he, directing me with his calm, benignant eye.

    Ernest Linwood Caroline Lee Hentz
  • “Do not call it foolish, Valerie,” returned the old man with a benignant smile.

    Valerie Frederick Marryat
  • It is a benignant despot which relieves us from the sense of destiny and of duty.

    George Cruikshank W. H. Chesson
  • His hopes were high, his benignant star was once more in the ascendant.

    The Bush Boys Captain Mayne Reid
  • However, he knew the facts better than anybody else, and Quiroga's attitude at Toledo was benignant.

    Fray Luis de Len James Fitzmaurice-Kelly
  • The genii of the East have woven this banner from the rays of benignant stars.

    Leila, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Out of this benignant sameness what glorious fruits are produced!

  • They replace the three benignant Baba Yagas of Russian stories.

    Russian Fairy Tales W. R. S. Ralston
  • And now the dull, distant symptoms of Mr. Haim on the stairs suddenly halted him at the very outset of his benignant machinations.

    The Roll-Call Arnold Bennett
  • With one of his benignant smiles the captain resumed his progress.

British Dictionary definitions for benignant


kind; gracious, as a king to his subjects
a less common word for benign (sense 3), benign (sense 4)
Derived Forms
benignancy, noun
benignantly, adverb
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 benignant

c.1782, from benign + -ant (see -ent); on model of malignant. Related: Benignantly; benignancy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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