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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 if someone is benign?

  • They are not able to give a strong opinion.
  • They are kind and considerate to others.
  • They are weak and easy to push aside.
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. — Carl Sagan, American astronomer, from _Cosmos_ Carl sagan, american astronomer, from _cosmos_
  • I’d like to note, though, that from his own perspective, he is a sad, maybe even a benign figure, helping the children, trying to get in touch with them. It’s not the fault of ghosts that we are so frightened of them. —The New Yorker
  • The tumor is benign and will require a surgery but not in the immediate future, with doctors telling Graveman it will not worsen despite inflammation. . . . "They say it can't get any worse. It doesn't grow. It doesn't spread." —USA Today
  • The vast, vast majority of these connections are benign: people finding a sense of identity and community when they’re feeling alone or hopeless—[even] about a shared love of an obscure Pokémon, which is wonderful. And yet, these same platforms that we champion for those really either innocent or actually quite virtuous connections also can connect folks around antisocial ideas. —The Washington Post

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 also kind because has been “brought up well.”

Word Constellation
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Benign

Word Variants
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benignity n kindness