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  • Adj.

benign

bi-NAHYN

Context
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A benign, kindly king, who cared more for his subjects than for himself, ruled the tiny kingdom. King Rupert may not have been particularly wise, but his benign, gentle ways endeared him to his people. Everyone held their breath when it was rumored that King Rupert had developed a tumor, but luckily it was diagnosed as benign or harmless. Everyone hoped that the benign and gracious King Rupert would live for a long time.

Quiz: What does it mean when someone is benign?

  • That person is weak and is easy to push aside.
  • That person is not able to give a strong opinion.
  • That person is kind and has a gentle positive influence.
Definition

Memory Hook
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Beneficial Sign Today I sighed with great relief when my doctor told me that my best friend's tumor is benign, a beneficial sign that all will be well with her health.

Examples
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  • The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Henry wadsworth longfellow
  • Tim Boyles/Getty Images Jason Giambi is under no obligation to tell us, perfect strangers, about the benign tumor on his pituitary gland, if that is indeed what he has. —Sports Illustrated
  • George, a pig — along with most of the males in this film of Anna Quindlen’s 1994 novel — treats Kate with benign contempt. —Rolling Stone
  • The final scene of the final episode of 'The Sopranos' had all the elements of traditional climax down to the benign plate of onion rings Tony 'ordered for the table.' —Los Angeles Times

Word Ingredients
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bene- well
ign produce, bring forth

A benign person brings forth acts that are well-regarded in society; she is “kind” because has been brought up well or given birth to well.

Word Constellation
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Benign

Word Variants
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benignity n kindness