Circa 1400, original sense “good will, disposition to do good”, Old French benivolence from Latin benevolentia (also directly from Latin), literally “good will”, from bene (“well, good”) + volentia, form of volēns, form of volō (“I wish”), components cognate to English benefit and voluntary, more distantly will (via Proto-Indo-European).
- (uncountable) disposition to do good
- (uncountable) charitable kindness
- (countable) an altruistic gift or act
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