One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The action, fact, or quality of feeling goodwill or of being well-disposed; kindliness, benevolence; (also) a feeling of goodwill. In earlier use frequently with to, towards, etc.
Benevolent, kindly, good-natured; favourably disposed.
With the and plural concord. Well-disposed, benevolent, or (formerly also) †righteous people as a class. rare after Old English.
Late Middle English; earliest use found in The Wycliffite Bible (early version). From well + willing<br>Old English; earliest use found in King Alfred (c848–899), king of the West Saxons and of the Anglo-Saxons. From well + will + -ing, perhaps originally after classical Latin benevolēnt-, benevolēns benevolent.
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