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[jen-er-uh s] /ˈdʒɛn ər əs/
liberal in giving or sharing; unselfish:
a generous patron of the arts; a generous gift.
free from meanness or smallness of mind or character; magnanimous.
large; abundant; ample:
a generous portion of pie.
rich or strong in flavor:
a generous wine.
fertile; prolific:
generous soil.
Origin of generous
1580-90; < Middle French généreux < Latin generōsus of noble birth, equivalent to gener- (see gender2) + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
generously, adverb
generousness, noun
overgenerous, adjective
overgenerously, adverb
quasi-generous, adjective
quasi-generously, adverb
supergenerous, adjective
supergenerously, adverb
1. open-handed, free, unstinting. Generous, charitable, liberal, bountiful, munificent all describe persons who give to others something of value, or the acts of such persons. Generous stresses the warm and sympathetic nature of the giver: a generous gift; generous in praise of the work of others. Charitable places stress on both the goodness and kindness of the giver and the indigence or need of the receiver: charitable assistance to the needy; a charitable person, always willing to help those less fortunate than herself. Liberal, in this connection, emphasizes the size of the gift, the largesse and openhandedness of the giver: a liberal contribution to the endowment fund. Bountiful implies effusive, unstinted giving and a sense of abundance or plenty: bountiful and unrestricted support for the museum; a bountiful return for his efforts. Munificent refers to gifts or awards so large and striking as to evoke amazement or admiration: a life income, a truly munificent reward for his loyalty; a munificent contribution, larger by far than any other. 2. high-minded, noble, big. 3. plentiful, copious. 5. fruitful.
1. selfish. 2. mean. 3. meager. 5. barren. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for generously
  • No matter how silly or trivial the question, he always had a generously detailed answer for me, thick with scientific evidence.
  • Researchers have been puzzled about why such altruism, so frequently and generously offered, should exist at all.
  • And generously, the first player might initiate renewed cooperation, with a view to enticing the former cheater to reciprocate.
  • Upon sending him a reprint a couple of years ago, he generously replied and sent me a reprint of his own.
  • Below it, sweeping lines run through generously spaced hemlocks.
  • Most of them generously welcomed the expedition into their homes.
  • generously fill a tablespoon with the vegetable mixture and drop into the hot oil.
  • generously sprinkle the seasoning over each of the breadsticks.
  • Converse claimed that only around ten per cent of the public has what can be called, even generously, a political belief system.
  • The edition is generously sprinkled with the writer's quips, essays, and correspondence offering spiritual insight.
British Dictionary definitions for generously


/ˈdʒɛnərəs; ˈdʒɛnrəs/
willing and liberal in giving away one's money, time, etc; munificent
free from pettiness in character and mind
full or plentiful: a generous portion
(of wine) rich in alcohol
(of a soil type) fertile
Derived Forms
generously, adverb
generousness, noun
Word Origin
C16: via Old French from Latin generōsus nobly born, from genus race; see genus
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 generously



1580s, "of noble birth," from Middle French généreux, from Latin generosus "of noble birth," figuratively "magnanimous, generous," from genus (genitive generis) "race, stock" (see genus). Secondary senses of "unselfish" (1690s) and "plentiful" (1610s) were present in French and in Latin. Related: Generously; generousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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