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Back-formation from munificence, from Latin mūnificentia.



munificent (comparative more munificent, superlative most munificent)

  1. (of a person or group) Very liberal in giving or bestowing.
    • 1859, Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, ch. 30:
      Tellson's Bank . . . was a munificent house, and extended great liberality to old customers who had fallen from their high estate.
    • 1974 April 8, "Politics: Milkmen Skimming Off More Cream," Time (retrieved 5 Sept 2013):
      [M]ilk producers are among the most munificent backers of political campaigns in the U.S.
    • 2008 March 20, Martin Filler, "Broad-Minded Museum," New York Review of Books (retrieved 5 Sept 2013):
      An exceptionally munificent benefactor of several institutions, he has given $100 million each to MIT and Harvard.
  2. (of a gift, donation, etc.) Very generous; lavish.
    • 1886, Louisa May Alcott, Jo's Boys, ch. 1:
      On the hill, where kites used to be flown, stood the fine college which Mr Laurence's munificent legacy had built.
    • 1914, William MacLeod Raine, A Daughter of the Dons, ch. 25:
      It was all very well for this casual youth to make her a present of a half million acres of land in this debonair way, but she could not persuade herself to accept so munificent a gift.
    • 1969 April 11, "Business: Up, Up and Away with Wages," Time (retrieved 5 Sept 2013):
      The machinists finally agreed to a munificent increase averaging 5.7% a year for three years.


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