“Those who are benevolent are sometimes said to have ‘big hearts,’ whereas those who are malevolent are sometimes said to have ‘small, cold hearts.’”

What is the best definition of benevolent?

Check your answer!

Choice A - Kind or charitable in nature
Choice B - Mean or vile in nature
Choice C - Charismatic or endearing to others
Choice D - Morbid or unappealing to others


Benevolent (adjective) – kind or good-hearted; of a charitable rather than profit-driven purpose

GRE pro tips:

The Latin root bene means “good” – it is the opposite of the Latin root male, which means “bad.” Examples of words derived from bene include benediction, which refers to “good words” – prayers and blessings – and benign, which means harmless or gentle. Similarly, benevolent means good-hearted and kind. It is the opposite of malevolent, which means mean-spirited and hateful toward others.

Example sentences:

“He was known to be a merciful and benevolent ruler.” 

“The gift was given with benevolent intentions; he expected nothing in return.”

“Her benevolence was so great that she donated most of her savings to charity.”