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Kind vs Kindly vs Benign vs Benignant

Kindkindlybenignbenignant mean having or exhibiting a nature that is gentle, considerate, and inclined to benevolent or beneficent actions and are comparable especially as applied to persons and to their acts and utterances.

Kind and kindly both imply possession of qualities (as interest in others’ welfare, sympathy, and humaneness) appropriate to man as a rational, sensitive, and social being. The two words are often used interchangeably without loss, but they may be used distinctively, kind then implying reference to a disposition to be sympathetic and helpful, and kindly to the expression of a benevolent, sympathetic, or helpful nature, mood, or impulse; thus, he has a kind, rather than kindly, heart; he takes a kindly, rather than kind, interest in ambitious boys.

Benign (see also FAVORABLE ) and benignant stress mildness, serenity, and mercifulness more than do kind and kindly; they also often imply graciousness and therefore are more frequently applied to superiors than to equals, when they are used to describe persons or their acts, utterances, or policies.