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From Middle English benigne, benygne, from Old French benigne, from Latin benignus (kind, good), from bene (well) + genus (origin, kind). Compare malign.


  • IPA(key): /bɪˈnaɪn/
    • (file)


benign (comparative benigner or more benign, superlative benignest or most benign)

  1. Kind; gentle; mild.
    • 1826, Mary Shelley, The Last Man, part 1, chapter 9
      But though we both entertained these ideas, we differed in their application. Resentment added also a sting to my censure; and I reprobated Raymond's conduct in severe terms. Adrian was more benign, more considerate.
  2. (of a climate or environment) mild and favorable
  3. (in combination) Not harmful to the environment.
    an ozone-benign refrigerant
  4. (medicine) Not posing any serious threat to health; not particularly aggressive or recurrent.
    a benign tumor



Derived terms[edit]


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