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From benign +‎ -ant, on the model of malignant.



benignant (comparative more benignant, superlative most benignant)

  1. (now rare) Kind; gracious; favorable.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, Folio Society, published 1973, page 417:
      Here Nature appears in her richest attire, and Art, dressed with the modestest simplicity, attends her benignant mistress.
    • 1827, Lydia Sigourney, Poems, The Departed Benefactress, page 30:
      And in the silence of the midnight trance,
      In snowy robe she comes to cheer my sight;
      So holy, so benignant is her glance,
      Her brow so placid,—and her eye so bright,...
    • 1853 October, J. B. Cayol, “Art. I. Memoir upon Typhoid Fever and Typhoidism. By J. B. Cayol, formerly Professor of Clinical Medicine to the Faculty of Paris; Member of Many Learned Socieities at Home and Abroad, etc. (Translated from the Revue Médicale.)”, in Drs. Otis and McCaw, editors, The Virginia Medical and Surgical Journal, volume II, Richmond, Va.: Printed by Colin & Nowlan, →OCLC, page 3:
      The most idiotic medicaster, when he had named, or, as they term it, diagnosticated a typhoid fever, found himself upon a level with the medical celebrities of the epoch. [] If the patient died, that was perfectly simple: he had a typhoid fever to which he was inevitably doomed to succumb! If he recovered, what a noble triumph for the medicaster, even when he had perhaps arbitrarily imposed the name of typhoid upon a simple and benignant fever, as is constantly done!
    • 1961 November 10, Joseph Heller, “Doc Daneeka”, in Catch-22 [], New York, N.Y.: Simon and Schuster, →OCLC, page 32:
      General Peckem roused himself after a moment with an unctuous and benignant smile.