a. Characterized by or given to doing good: "a benevolent philanthropist who donated the funds to found the town library" (Willie Morris).
b. Suggestive of doing good; agreeable: a benevolent smile.
2. Relating to a charitable organization that operates without making a profit.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin benevolēns, benevolent- : bene, well; see deu-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + volēns, present participle of velle, to wish; see wel-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: benevolent, charitable, eleemosynary, philanthropic
These adjectives mean of, concerned with, providing, or provided by charity: a benevolent fund; a charitable foundation; eleemosynary relief; philanthropic contributions. See Also Synonyms at kind1.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.