Definition of generous in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈjen(ə)rəs/


1(Of a person) showing a readiness to give more of something, as money or time, than is strictly necessary or expected: she was generous with her money
More example sentences
  • She was incredibly generous with her money, showering those she loved with gifts.
  • Nothing wrong ever came of being generous with your money, and he had enough to share.
  • He is generous with his time and money, and a principled and loyal friend.
liberal, lavish, magnanimous, munificent, giving, openhanded, free-handed, bountiful, unselfish, ungrudging, free, indulgent, prodigal
literary bounteous
1.1Showing kindness toward others: it was generous of them to ask her along
More example sentences
  • Those who wanted to attain success ought to be generous and well disposed towards others.
  • We had a wonderful time and his family and friends were kind and generous toward me.
  • To her family she was a loving, kind-hearted and generous mother and grandmother.
magnanimous, kind, benevolent, altruistic, charitable, noble, big-hearted, honorable, good;
unselfish, self-sacrificing
1.2(Of a thing) larger or more plentiful than is usual or necessary: a generous sprinkle of pepper
More example sentences
  • Add a generous seasoning of Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and they're ready to serve.
  • Add in the parsley, salt and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper and toss.
  • Sprinkle, as you go, with generous pinches of flaky sea salt and vigorous twists of freshly ground black pepper.
lavish, plentiful, copious, ample, liberal, large, great, abundant, profuse, bumper, opulent, prolific
informal galore
literary bounteous, plenteous



Example sentences
  • Think of the generousness with which he doles out close-ups to his co-stars.
  • She liked to catch her employees unaware, and would fluctuate between uneconomical generousness and scrupulous economy, possibly just for that purpose.
  • The films seem to get better on each repeated viewing, mainly because they have an almost throwaway generousness of ideas.


Late 16th century: via Old French from Latin generosus 'noble, magnanimous', from genus, gener- 'stock, race'. The original sense was 'of noble birth', hence 'characteristic of noble birth, courageous, magnanimous, not mean' (a sense already present in Latin).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: gen·er·ous

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