Webster 1913 Edition
The disposition to do good; good will; charitableness; love of mankind, accompanied with a desire to promote their happiness.
benevolenceof the gospel.
An act of kindness; good done; charity given.
A species of compulsory contribution or tax, which has sometimes been illegally exacted by arbitrary kings of England, and falsely represented as a gratuity.
Benevolence marks a disposition made up of a choice and desire for the happiness of others. Beneficence marks the working of this disposition in dispensing good on a somewhat broad scale. Munificence shows the same disposition, but acting on a still broader scale, in conferring gifts and favors. These are not necessarily confined to objects of immediate utility. One may show his munificence in presents of pictures or jewelry, but this would not be beneficence. Benevolence of heart; beneficence of life; munificence in the encouragement of letters.
Webster 1828 Edition
1.The disposition to do good; good will; kindness; charitableness; the love,of mankind, accompanied with a desire to promote their happiness.
The benevolence of God is one of his moral attributes; that attribute which delights in the happiness of intelligent beings. 'God is love.' 1 John 4.
2.An act of kindness; good done; charity given.
3.A species of contribution or tax illegally exacted by arbitrary kings of England.
See also: bénévolence
benevolence (countable and uncountable, plural benevolences)
- (uncountable) Disposition to do good
- (uncountable) Charitable kindness
- (countable) An altruistic gift or act
disposition to do good
- ↑ “benevolence” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).