One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Kindly and benevolent.‘an old man with a benignant expression’
kindly, kind, warm-hearted, good-natured, friendly, warm, affectionate, agreeable, amiable, good-humoured, genial, congenial, cordial, approachable, tender, tender-hearted, soft-hearted, gentle, sympathetic, compassionate, caring, considerate, thoughtful, helpful, well disposed, obliging, accommodating, generous, big-hearted, unselfish, benevolent, gracious, liberal, indulgentView synonyms
- ‘I found him kind and benignant in the domestic circle, revered and beloved by all around him, agreeably social, without ostentation.’
- ‘The expression of his face was kind and benignant, and denoted goodness of heart.’
- ‘They were sitting in the long gallery watching with calm benignant eyes the daily performance of sun and earth which had so often been repeated in front of them that they could almost prompt the actors.’
- ‘She is one of the esteemed ladies of the city, gracious, kind and benignant of character, and a model mother to her family.’
- ‘He possessed great erudition and piety, was of a most mild and tranquil disposition, and of a calm and benignant temper.’
- 1.1archaic Having a good effect; beneficial.‘the benignant touch of love and beauty’
- ‘Upon this occasion I particularly lamented that he had not that warmth of friendship for his brilliant pupil, which we may suppose would have had a benignant effect on both.’
- ‘My wife joined me there, and the visit had a very benignant effect on her.’
- ‘Water power was the first to raise hopes that mankind might be eased from severe toil by the benignant help of Nature.’
2Medicinea less common term for benign
- ‘It is a rare and benignant disease, occurring in young men 10 to 25 years old.’
- ‘Of course, marked differences in the evolution of any disease in patients are well-known; for instance, measles, usually considered anywhere as a relatively benignant disease, could, in Africa, involve a tremendous infant mortality, likely generated by intercurrent malaria.’
- ‘It spreads from the benignant disease uncomplicated partial mole to the most malignant choriocarcinoma in stage IV of disease with brain metastases.’
- ‘Keloid is a peculiar form of fibroma which, although benignant as regards any general infection, invariably recurs locally after removal.’
- ‘It means it is the same whether healthy, benignant or malignant cells are concerned, the only important thing is how great the actual growth rate is.’
Late 18th century: from benign, or Latin benignus, on the pattern of malignant.
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