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or largesse

[lahr-jes, lahr-jis] /lɑrˈdʒɛs, ˈlɑr dʒɪs/
generous bestowal of gifts.
the gift or gifts, as of money, so bestowed.
Obsolete. generosity; liberality.
Origin of largess
1175-1225; Middle English largesse < Old French; see large, -ice
Can be confused
large, largess. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for largesse
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Varney gave his largesse with an affectation of complaisance and humility.

    Kenilworth Sir Walter Scott
  • There was a brilliant full moon, showering its largesse over the hills.

    The Cricket Marjorie Cooke
  • The largesse of which he was so prodigal has but an arbitrary and conventional value.

    Views and Reviews William Ernest Henley
  • After the frolic of the largesse was over, the king and queen rose to depart.

    Richard III Jacob Abbott
  • The ceremony of a largesse consisted in throwing money among the crowd to be scrambled for.

    Richard III Jacob Abbott
British Dictionary definitions for largesse


the generous bestowal of gifts, favours, or money
the things so bestowed
generosity of spirit or attitude
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, from large
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 largesse

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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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