Webster's Dictionary, 1913

Search Webster
Word starts with Word or meaning contains
Beneficialness noun The quality of being beneficial; profitableness.

Beneficiary adjective [ Confer French bénéficiaire , Late Latin beneficiarius .]
1. Holding some office or valuable possession, in subordination to another; holding under a feudal or other superior; having a dependent and secondary possession.

A feudatory or beneficiary king of England.

2. Bestowed as a gratuity; as, beneficiary gifts.

Beneficiary noun ; plural Beneficiaries
1. A feudatory or vassal; hence, one who holds a benefice and uses its proceeds. Ayliffe.

2. One who receives anything as a gift; one who receives a benefit or advantage; esp. one who receives help or income from an educational fund or a trust estate.

The rich men will be offering sacrifice to their Deity whose beneficiaries they are.
Jer. Taylor.

Beneficiate transitive verb [ Spanish beneficia r to benefit, to work mines.] (Mining) To reduce (ores). -- Ben`e*fi`ci*a"tion noun

Beneficient adjective Beneficent. [ Obsolete]

Benefit noun [ Middle English benefet , benfeet , bienfet , French bienfait , from Latin benefactum ; bene well (adv. of bonus good) + factum , past participle of facere to do. See Bounty , and Fact .]
1. An act of kindness; a favor conferred.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits .
Ps. ciii. 2.

2. Whatever promotes prosperity and personal happiness, or adds value to property; advantage; profit.

Men have no right to what is not for their benefit .

3. A theatrical performance, a concert, or the like, the proceeds of which do not go to the lessee of the theater or to the company, but to some individual actor, or to some charitable use.

4. Beneficence; liberality. [ Obsolete] Webster (1623).

5. plural Natural advantages; endowments; accomplishments. [ R.] "The benefits of your own country." Shak.

Benefit of clergy . (Law) See under Clergy .

Syn. -- Profit; service; use; avail. See Advantage .

Benefit transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Benefited ; present participle & verbal noun Benefitting .] To be beneficial to; to do good to; to advantage; to advance in health or prosperity; to be useful to; to profit.

I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.
Jer. xviii. 10.

Benefit intransitive verb To gain advantage; to make improvement; to profit; as, he will benefit by the change.

Benefit society A society or association formed for mutual insurance, as among tradesmen or in labor unions, to provide for relief in sickness, old age, and for the expenses of burial. Usually called friendly society in Great Britain.

Benefiter noun One who confers a benefit; -- also, one who receives a benefit.

Beneme transitive verb [ Anglo-Saxon ben...man . Confer Benim .] To deprive ( of ), or take away ( from ). [ Obsolete]

Benempt past participle of Bename .
1. Promised; vowed. [ Obsolete] Spenser.

2. Named; styled. [ Archaic] Sir W. Scott.

Benet transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Benetted .] To catch in a net; to insnare. Shak.

Benevolence noun [ Old French benevolence , Latin benevolentia . See Benevolent .]
1. The disposition to do good; good will; charitableness; love of mankind, accompanied with a desire to promote their happiness.

The wakeful benevolence of the gospel.

2. An act of kindness; good done; charity given.

3. A species of compulsory contribution or tax, which has sometimes been illegally exacted by arbitrary kings of England, and falsely represented as a gratuity.

Syn. -- Benevolence , Beneficence , Munificence . Benevolence marks a disposition made up of a choice and desire for the happiness of others. Beneficence marks the working of this disposition in dispensing good on a somewhat broad scale. Munificence shows the same disposition, but acting on a still broader scale, in conferring gifts and favors. These are not necessarily confined to objects of immediate utility. One may show his munificence in presents of pictures or jewelry, but this would not be beneficence . Benevolence of heart; beneficence of life; munificence in the encouragement of letters.

Benevolent adjective [ Latin benevolens , -entis ; bene well (adv. of bonus good) + volens , present participle of volo I will, I wish. See Bounty , and Voluntary .] Having a disposition to do good; possessing or manifesting love to mankind, and a desire to promote their prosperity and happiness; disposed to give to good objects; kind; charitable. -- Be*nev"o*lent*ly , adverb

Syn. -- Benevolent , Beneficent . Etymologically considered, benevolent implies wishing well to others, and beneficent , doing well. But by degrees the word benevolent has been widened to include not only feelings, but actions; thus, we speak of benevolent operations, benevolent labors for the public good, benevolent societies. In like manner, beneficent is now often applied to feelings; thus, we speak of the beneficent intentions of a donor. This extension of the terms enables us to mark nicer shades of meaning. Thus, the phrase " benevolent labors" turns attention to the source of these labors, viz., benevolent feeling; while beneficent would simply mark them as productive of good. So, " beneficent intentions" point to the feelings of the donor as bent upon some specific good act; while " benevolent intentions" would only denote a general wish and design to do good.

Benevolous adjective [ Latin benevolus .] Kind; benevolent. [ Obsolete] T. Puller.

Bengal noun
1. A province in India, giving its name to various stuffs, animals, etc.

2. A thin stuff, made of silk and hair, originally brought from Bengal.

3. Striped gingham, originally brought from Bengal; Bengal stripes.

Bengal light , a firework containing niter, sulphur, and antimony, and producing a sustained and vivid colored light, used in making signals and in pyrotechnics; -- called also blue light . -- Bengal stripes , a kind of cotton cloth woven with colored stripes. See Bengal , 3. -- Bengal tiger . (Zoology) . See Tiger .

Bengalee, Bengali noun The language spoken in Bengal.

Bengalese adjective Of or pertaining to Bengal. -- noun sing. & pl . A native or natives of Bengal.

Bengola noun A Bengal light.

Benight (be*nīt") transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Benighted ; present participle & verbal noun Benighting .]
1. To involve in darkness; to shroud with the shades of night; to obscure. [ Archaic]

The clouds benight the sky.

2. To overtake with night or darkness, especially before the end of a day's journey or task.

Some virgin, sure, . . . benighted in these woods.

3. To involve in moral darkness, or ignorance; to debar from intellectual light.

Shall we to men benighted
The lamp of life deny ?

Benightment noun The condition of being benighted.

Benign adjective [ Middle English benigne , bening , Old French benigne , French bénin , fem. bénigne , from Latin benignus , contr. from benigenus ; bonus good + root of genus kind. See Bounty , and Genus .]
1. Of a kind or gentle disposition; gracious; generous; favorable; benignant.

Creator bounteous and benign .

2. Exhibiting or manifesting kindness, gentleness, favor, etc.; mild; kindly; salutary; wholesome.

Kind influences and benign aspects.

3. Of a mild type or character; as, a benign disease.

Syn. -- Kind; propitious; bland; genial; salubrious; favorable salutary; gracious; liberal.

Benignancy noun Benignant quality; kindliness.

Benignant adjective [ Late Latin benignans , present participle of benignare , from Latin benignus . See Benign .] Kind; gracious; favorable. -- Be*nig"nant*ly , adverb

Benignity noun [ Middle English benignite , French bénignité , Old French bénigneté , from Latin benignitas . See Benign .]
1. The quality of being benign; goodness; kindness; graciousness. " Benignity of aspect." Sir W. Scott.

2. Mildness; gentleness.

The benignity or inclemency of the season.

3. Salubrity; wholesome quality. Wiseman.

Benignly adverb In a benign manner.

Benim transitive verb [ Anglo-Saxon beniman . See Benumb , and confer Nim .] To take away. [ Obsolete]

Ire . . . benimeth the man fro God.

Benison noun [ Middle English beneysun , benesoun , Old French beneï...un , beneïson , from Latin benedictio , from benedicere to bless; bene (adv. of bonus good) + dicere to say. See Bounty , and Diction , and confer Benediction .] Blessing; beatitude; benediction. Shak.

More precious than the benison of friends.

Bénitier noun [ French, from bénir to bless.] (R. C. Ch.) A holy-water stoup. Shipley.

Benjamin noun [ Corrupted from benzoin .] See Benzoin .

Benjamin noun A kind of upper coat for men. [ Colloq. Eng.]

Benjamite noun A descendant of Benjamin; one of the tribe of Benjamin. Judg. iii. 15.

Benne noun [ Malay bijen .] (Botany) The name of two plants ( Sesamum orientale and S. indicum ), originally Asiatic; -- also called oil plant . From their seeds an oil is expressed, called benne oil , used mostly for making soap. In the southern United States the seeds are used in candy.

Bennet noun [ French benoîte , from Latin benedicta , fem. of benedictus , past participle , blessed. See Benedict , adjective ] (Botany) The common yellow-flowered avens of Europe ( Geum urbanum ); herb bennet. The name is sometimes given to other plants, as the hemlock, valerian, etc.

Benshee noun See Banshee .

Bent imperfect & past participle of Bend .

Bent adjective & past participle
1. Changed by pressure so as to be no longer straight; crooked; as, a bent pin; a bent lever.

2. Strongly inclined toward something, so as to be resolved, determined, set, etc.; -- said of the mind, character, disposition, desires, etc., and used with on ; as, to be bent on going to college; he is bent on mischief.

Bent noun [ See Bend , noun & v. ]
1. The state of being curved, crooked, or inclined from a straight line; flexure; curvity; as, the bent of a bow. [ Obsolete] Wilkins.

2. A declivity or slope, as of a hill. [ R.] Dryden.

3. A leaning or bias; proclivity; tendency of mind; inclination; disposition; purpose; aim. Shak.

With a native bent did good pursue.

4. Particular direction or tendency; flexion; course.

Bents and turns of the matter.

5. (Carp.) A transverse frame of a framed structure.

6. Tension; force of acting; energy; impetus. [ Archaic]

The full bent and stress of the soul.

Syn. -- Predilection; turn. Bent , Bias , Inclination , Prepossession . These words agree in describing a permanent influence upon the mind which tends to decide its actions. Bent denotes a fixed tendency of the mind in a given direction. It is the widest of these terms, and applies to the will, the intellect, and the affections, taken conjointly; as, the whole bent of his character was toward evil practices. Bias is literally a weight fixed on one side of a ball used in bowling, and causing it to swerve from a straight course. Used figuratively, bias applies particularly to the judgment, and denotes something which acts with a permanent force on the character through that faculty; as, the bias of early education, early habits, etc. Inclination is an excited state of desire or appetency; as, a strong inclination to the study of the law. Prepossession is a mingled state of feeling and opinion in respect to some person or subject, which has laid hold of and occupied the mind previous to inquiry. The word is commonly used in a good sense, an unfavorable impression of this kind being denominated a prejudice . "Strong minds will be strongly bent , and usually labor under a strong bias ; but there is no mind so weak and powerless as not to have its inclinations , and none so guarded as to be without its prepossessions ." Crabb.

Bent noun [ Anglo-Saxon beonet ; akin to Old High German pinuz , German binse , rush, bent grass; of unknown origin.]
1. A reedlike grass; a stalk of stiff, coarse grass.

His spear a bent , both stiff and strong.

2. (Botany) A grass of the genus Agrostis , esp. Agrostis vulgaris , or redtop. The name is also used of many other grasses, esp. in America.

3. Any neglected field or broken ground; a common; a moor. [ Obsolete] Wright.

Bowmen bickered upon the bent .
Chevy Chase.

Bent grass (Botany) Same as Bent , a kind of grass.

Benthal adjective [ Greek ... the depth of the sea.] Relating to the deepest zone or region of the ocean.

Benthamic adjective Of or pertaining to Bentham or Benthamism.

Benthamism noun That phase of the doctrine of utilitarianism taught by Jeremy Bentham; the doctrine that the morality of actions is estimated and determined by their utility; also, the theory that the sensibility to pleasure and the recoil from pain are the only motives which influence human desires and actions, and that these are the sufficient explanation of ethical and jural conceptions.

Benthamite noun One who believes in Benthamism.

Benthos noun [ New Latin , from Greek ... depth of the sea.] The bottom of the sea, esp. of the deep oceans; hence (Bot. & Zoology) , the fauna and flora of the sea bottom; -- opposed to plankton .

Benting time The season when pigeons are said to feed on bents, before peas are ripe.

Bare benting times . . . may come.

Benty adjective
1. A bounding in bents, or the stalks of coarse, stiff, withered grass; as, benty fields.

2. Resembling bent. Holland.

Benumb transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Benumbed ; present participle & verbal noun Benumbing .] [ Middle English binomen , past participle of binimen to take away, Anglo-Saxon beniman ; prefix be + niman to take. See Numb , adjective , and confer Benim .] To make torpid; to deprive of sensation or sensibility; to stupefy; as, a hand or foot benumbed by cold.

The creeping death benumbed her senses first.

Benumbed adjective Made torpid; numbed; stupefied; deadened; as, a benumbed body and mind. -- Be*numbed"ness , noun