Word of the Day Archive
Sunday September 21, 2008
beneficence \buh-NEFF-i-suhns\ , noun:
1. The practice of doing good; active goodness, kindness, or charity.
2. A charitable gift or act.
Lord Jeffrey told Dickens that it [A Christmas Carol] had "prompted more positive acts of beneficence than can be traced to all the pulpits and confessionals in Christendom since Christmas 1842."
-- Roger Highfield, The Physics of Christmas
From my grandfather Verus I learned good morals and the government of my temper. From the reputation and remembrance of my father, modesty and a manly character. From my mother, piety and beneficence and abstinence.
-- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
She had disseminated around her what seemed an involuntary aura of beneficence and goodwill.
-- John Bayley, Elegy for Iris
Beneficence is from Latin beneficentia, from beneficus, kind, generous, obliging, from bene, well (from bonus, good) + facere, to do. One who, or that which, is characterized by beneficence is beneficent.