1. liberal in giving or sharing; unselfish: a generous patron of the arts; a generous gift.
  2. free from meanness or smallness of mind or character; magnanimous.
  3. large; abundant; ample: a generous portion of pie.
  4. rich or strong in flavor: a generous wine.
  5. fertile; prolific: generous soil.


  1. willing and liberal in giving away one’s money, time, etc; munificent
  2. free from pettiness in character and mind
  3. full or plentifula generous portion
  4. (of wine) rich in alcohol
  5. (of a soil type) fertile

1580s, “of noble birth,” from Middle French généreux, from Latin generosus “of noble birth,” figuratively “magnanimous, generous,” from genus (genitive generis) “race, stock” (see genus). Secondary senses of “unselfish” (1690s) and “plentiful” (1610s) were present in French and in Latin. Related: Generously; generousness.

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