SAT Word #2: benevolent


Remember, simple memorization without context has only limited, short-term value for expanding your vocabulary. Do as many of the exercises below as you can to really get this word down.

First, let’s see if you already know this word. Which of the following is the closest synonym of benevolent?

A) friendly

B) angry

C) wonderful

D) mysterious




The correct answer is A.

benevolent adj. friendly, disposed to do good

Sample sentence: “Mr. Wasko is a benevolent teacher; he never assigns homework over holidays.”

The noun form of the word benevolent is benevolence, as in “The pirate demonstrated his benevolence by splitting the treasure with the crew.”

Exercises: Do as may of the following as you like. The more you do, the better the chance this word will stick.

1. Put it in writing: Use benevolent in at least one original sentence. Write it out in a comment (extra points if it makes me laugh).

2. Synonyms: The definition above tells us that friendly is one synonym for benevolent. Can you think of more? Look it up, but only if you have to.

3. Antonyms: What might be an antonym for benevolent (hint: the prefix bene– means good in Latin; male– means bad or evil)

4. Get Artsy: It helps to connect words to images. Draw a picture of something benevolent. Here’s my unattractive example:

Benevolent illustration

 5. Use It: Take the use-it-or-lose-it challenge: Find a way to consciously use the word benevolent at least three times in conversation today. Thank the lady at Starbucks for being so benevolent. When your sister lets you borror her sweater, praise her benevolence. Whatever.

About the Author

Brian WaskoBrian is the founder and president of One of his passions is to teach young people how to write better.View all posts by Brian Wasko

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