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bĕnignĭtas, ātis, f. [benignus], the quality of one benignus, an affable, kind bearing to others.

I. Of feeling or external conduct, kindness, friendliness, courtesy, benevolence, benignity: si ad vortendum huc animum adest benignitas, Plaut. Merc. prol. 11: justitia, cui sunt adjunctae pietas, bonitas, liberalitas, benignitas, comitas, quaeque sunt generis ejusdem, Cic. Fin. 5, 23, 65: etsi me attentissimis animis summā cum benignitate auditis, id. Sest. 13, 31; id. Caecin. 3, 9; id. Dom. 14, 32; id. Verr. 2, 3, 83, 191; id. Rosc. Com. 12, 33: benignitas animi, Tac. H. 2, 30; Dig. 48, 19, 11; 1, 3, 25.—

II. Of deeds, kindness, liberality, bounty, favor: num solus ille dona dat? nunc ubi meam Benignitatem sensisti in te claudier? Ter. Eun. 1, 2, 84 (intellegit se et dona obtulisse, et id benigne saepe fecisse, Don.); Plaut. Truc. 1, 2, 80: illa quanta benignitas naturae, quod tam multa ad vescendum, tam varia, tamque jucunda gignit, Cic. N. D. 2, 53, 131: largitio, quae fit ex re familiari, fontem ipsum benignitatis exhaurit. Ita benignitate benignitas tollitur, id. Off. 2, 15, 52; 2, 15, 54: ne benignitas major esset quam facultates, id. ib. 1, 14, 44: amicorum benignitas exhausta est in eā re, id. Att. 4, 2, 7: (Volumnius) benignitatem per se gratam comitate adjuvabat, Liv. 9, 42, 5: satis superque me benignitas tua Ditavit, Hor. Epod. 1, 31; August. ap. Suet. Aug. 71: benignitate deūm fractae hostium vires, Tac. H. 4, 85; id. A. 14, 6.— In plur.: vides, benignitates hominum ut periere, Plaut. Stich. 4, 2, 54.—

B. Lenity, mercy: severitas legum cum aliquo temperamento benignitatis, Dig. 48, 19, 11 pr.; 1, 3, 25.