One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘he adopted a benign grandfatherly role’
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, indulgent
2‘the climate becomes more benign nearer to the Black Sea’
temperate, mild, gentle, clement, calm, balmy, pleasant, agreeable, soft, soothing, refreshing
healthy, health-giving, wholesome, salubrious
3‘the lizard has a chance of survival if its environment is benign’
favourable, advantageous, beneficial
helpful, propitious, auspicious, lucky, opportune, fortunate, providential, encouraging, benevolent, conducive
4‘he had surgery to remove a benign tumour’
harmless, non-malignant, non-cancerous, non-dangerous, innocent
curable, remediable, treatable, removable
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