Origin: 1580–90; Related forms
< Middle French généreux
< Latin generōsus
of noble birth, equivalent to gener-
) + -ōsus -ous
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.