- An example of benevolence is a gift of money affording someone the opportunity to go to college.
- An example of someone who had feelings of benevolence was Mother Theresa.
- an inclination to do good; kindliness
- a kindly, charitable act or gift; beneficence
- a forced loan formerly levied by some English kings on their subjects
Origin of benevolenceMiddle English and Old French from Classical Latin benevolentia: see benevolent
- An inclination to perform kind, charitable acts.
- a. A kindly act.b. A gift given out of generosity.
- A compulsory tax or payment exacted by some English sovereigns without the consent of Parliament.
(countable and uncountable, plural benevolences)
Circa 1400, original sense “good will, disposition to do good”, Old French benivolence from Latin benevolentia (also directly from Latin), literally “good will”, from bene (“well, good”) + volentia, form of volēns, form of volō (“I wish”), components cognate to English benefit and voluntary, more distantly will (via Proto-Indo-European).