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also largess, "willingness to give or spend freely; munificence," c.1200, from Old French largesse "a bounty, munificence," from Vulgar Latin *largitia "abundance," from Latin largus "abundant" (see large). In medieval theology, "the virtue whose opposite is avarice, and whose excess is prodigality" ["Middle English Dictionary"]. The Old French suffix -esse is from Latin -itia, added to adjectives to form nouns of quality (cf. duress, riches).