“The creature had a benign manner that put those around him at ease.”

Based on the sentence above, which definition most accurately describes benign?

Check your answer!

Choice A - Threatening, caustic, or bad-natured
Choice B - Non-threatening, gentle, or good-natured
Choice C - Amiable and fun to be around
Choice D - Lazy and boring to be around


Benign (adjective) – mild in type or character; harmless; gentle

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 benevolent, which means good-hearted and kind. Likewise, benign means good-natured, mild, or harmless. It is the opposite of malignant, which means bad-natured, deadly, or caustic.

Example sentences:

“Her approach was far from benign; she was the most aggressive CEO the company had ever had.”

“Fortunately, the tumor was benign.”