Choose the adjective benevolent for someone who does good deeds or shows goodwill. If your teacher collects homework with a benevolent smile, she's hoping that you've done a good job.

Benevolent comes from the Latin bene, "well," and volent, from a verb meaning "to wish." A benevolent society is a charity group organized to serve a community through programs, sponsorships, and donations. The expression "benevolent dictatorship" may seem like an oxymoron, but it is a political term for an authoritative government that (supposedly) works for the good of the people under its rule.

Definitions of benevolent
  1. adjective
    showing or motivated by sympathy and understanding and generosity
    synonyms: charitable, good-hearted, kindly, large-hearted, openhearted, sympathetic
    having or showing a tender and considerate and helpful nature; used especially of persons and their behavior
  2. adjective
    intending or showing kindness
    “a benevolent society”
  3. adjective
    generous in providing aid to others
    synonyms: freehearted
    willing to give and share unstintingly
  4. adjective
    generous in assistance to the poor
    “a benevolent contributor”
    synonyms: beneficent, eleemosynary, philanthropic
    full of love and generosity
Word Family
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