benign

Someone or something that is benign is gentle, kind, mild, or unharmful: a benign soul wouldn't hurt a fly.

Benign describes a range of qualities, all of them positive. When talking about a person, it means "gentle." In reference to weather or climate, it means "mild." In some other contexts, it simply means "not harmful"; you might speak of "a benign tumor" or "an environmentally benign chemical." The word comes from a Latin root benignus meaning "well born," but the implied meaning is "kind" or "pleasant" — it's hard to get mad at someone who has a benign disposition.

Definitions of benign
1

adj kind in disposition or manner

“the benign ruler of millions”
benign intentions”
Synonyms:
kind
having or showing a tender and considerate and helpful nature; used especially of persons and their behavior

adj pleasant and beneficial in nature or influence

“a benign smile”
“the benign sky”
“the benign influence of pure air”
Synonyms:
benignant
kindly
pleasant and agreeable
harmless
not causing or capable of causing harm
kind
having or showing a tender and considerate and helpful nature; used especially of persons and their behavior
Antonyms:
malign
evil or harmful in nature or influence
maleficent
harmful or evil in intent or effect
cancerous
like a cancer; an evil that grows and spreads
harmful
causing or capable of causing harm
unkind
lacking kindness
show more antonyms...

adj not dangerous to health; not recurrent or progressive (especially of a tumor)

Antonyms:
malignant
dangerous to health; characterized by progressive and uncontrolled growth (especially of a tumor)
cancerous
relating to or affected with cancer
show more antonyms...

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.