generous

\ \ [16] Generous comes via Old French genereux from Latin generōsus, which originally meant ‘of noble birth’ (a sense which survived in English into the late 17th century – Richard Knolles, for instance, in his General history of the Turks 1603, wrote of ‘many knights of generous extraction’). It was a derivative of genus in the sense ‘birth, stock, race’, and harks back semantically to its ultimate source in the Indo-European base *gen- ‘produce’ (see GENERAL). Its semantic progression from ‘nobly born’ through ‘noble-minded, magnanimous’ to ‘liberal in giving’ took place largely in Latin.
\ \ Cf.GENERAL

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • Generous — Gen er*ous, a. [F. g[ e]n[ e]reux, fr. L. generous of noble birth, noble, excellent, magnanimous, fr. genus birth, race: cf. It. generoso. See 2d {Gender}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Of honorable birth or origin; highborn. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Generous — Upload / Commons Upload Père : Caerleon …   Wikipédia en Français

  • generous — [jen′ər əs] adj. [L generosus, of noble birth, excellent, generous < genus: see GENUS] 1. Obs. of noble birth 2. having qualities attributed to people of noble birth; noble minded; gracious; magnanimous 3. giving or sharing liberally and… …   English World dictionary

  • generous — I adjective altruistic, beneficent, benevolent, big hearted, bountiful, capacious, charitable, chivalrous, copious, decent, donative, gracious, humane, kind, kindly, magnanimous, meritorious, munificent, noble, philanthropic, unselfish, warm… …   Law dictionary

  • generous — 1580s, of noble birth, from M.Fr. généreux, from L. generosus of noble birth, figuratively magnanimous, generous, from genus (gen. generis) race, stock (see GENUS (Cf. genus)). Secondary senses of unselfish (1690s) and plentiful (1610s) were… …   Etymology dictionary

  • generous — [adj1] giving, big hearted acceptable, altruistic, beneficent, benevolent, big, bounteous, bountiful, charitable, considerate, easy, equitable, excellent, fair, free, good, greathearted, helpful, high minded, honest, honorable, hospitable, just,… …   New thesaurus

  • generous — bountiful, bounteous, openhanded, munificent, *liberal, handsome Analogous words: lavish, prodigal, *profuse, exuberant: benevolent, philanthropic, eleemosynary, *charitable, altruistic Antonyms: stingy Contrasted words: close, closefisted,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • generous — ► ADJECTIVE 1) freely giving more than is necessary or expected. 2) kind towards others. 3) larger or more plentiful than is usual. DERIVATIVES generosity noun generously adverb. ORIGIN originally in the sense «of noble birth»: from Latin… …   English terms dictionary

  • generous — gen|er|ous [ dʒen(ə)rəs ] adjective ** 1. ) giving people more of your time or money than is usual or expected: Merton is clearly a warm and generous human being. generous to: Billy was very generous to people who had less than he did. generous… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • generous */*/ — UK [ˈdʒenərəs] / US [ˈdʒen(ə)rəs] adjective 1) giving people more of your time or money than is usual or expected Merton is clearly a warm and generous person. generous to: Billy was very generous to people who had less than he did. generous with …   English dictionary

  • generous — gen|e|rous [ˈdʒenərəs] adj [Date: 1500 1600; : French; Origin: généreux, from Latin generosus born into a high rank , from genus; GENUS] 1.) someone who is generous is willing to give money, spend time etc, in order to help people or give them… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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