Tuesday, June 12, 2012

1a : marked by or disposed to doing good  
1b : organized for the purpose of doing good
2 : marked by or suggestive of goodwill 
Jody's grandmother was a benevolent lady who enjoyed performing random acts of kindness for both her family and strangers.

Someone who is "benevolent" genuinely wishes other people well, which is not surprising if you know the word's history. "Benevolent" can be traced back to Latin "bene," meaning "good," and "velle," meaning "to wish." Other descendants of "velle" in English include "volition" ("the act or power of making one's choices or decisions"), "voluntary," and the rare word "velleity" (meaning either "the lowest degree of volition" or "a slight wish or tendency"). There is also one more familiar "velle" descendant — "malevolent," the antonym of "benevolent," a word describing one who is disposed to doing ill instead of good.
From Merriam-Webster Online

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