Benevolence is an act of kindness or an inclination to be kind. It's the quality of someone who volunteers in a soup kitchen, tutors children for free, and helps old ladies cross the street.

Helping your grandmother with her groceries is an act of benevolence — as long as she doesn’t pay you a dollar per bag. Letting your little sister have the last helping of ice cream shows benevolence. Benevolence is any kind act, but it can also describe the desire to do nice things. When you’re feeling selfish, you probably won’t show benevolence, but if benevolence comes through in spite of your crankiness, then you know you’re really a good person.

Definitions of benevolence

n disposition to do good

malevolence, malignity
wishing evil to others
doing good; feeling beneficent
Type of:
a strong positive emotion of regard and affection

n an inclination to do kind or charitable acts

brotherly love, charity
a kindly and lenient attitude toward people
Type of:
the quality of being warmhearted and considerate and humane and sympathetic

n an act intending or showing kindness and good will

Type of:
benignity, kindness
a kind act

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