Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for October 14, 2020 is:
benefic buh-NEF-ik adjective
: producing good or helpful results or effects : beneficent
“A broad range of biological effects has been attributed to aromatic plants and their components…. There are many reports proving the benefic effects against depression, anxiety, epilepsy, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD).” — Sandra Gonçalves et al., in Oxidative Stress and Dietary Antioxidants in Neurological Diseases, 2020
“But you may want to keep an eye on your texts, emails, and DMs on Monday, November 13, darling Virgo. When benefic planets Venus and Jupiter team up in your third house of communication, positive tidings are absolutely on the horizon!” – Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, 13 Nov. 2017
Did you know?
Benefic comes from Latin beneficus, which in turn comes from bene (“well”) and facere (“to do”). The word was originally used by astrologers to refer to celestial bodies believed to have a favorable influence, and it’s still used in astrological contexts. Benefic, beneficial, and beneficent are all synonyms, but there are shades of difference. Beneficial usually applies to things that promote well-being (as in “a beneficial dietary plan”), or that provide some benefit or advantage (“advice that proved financially beneficial”). Beneficent means doing or effecting good (as in “a beneficent influence”), but in particular it refers to the performance of acts of kindness or charity (“a beneficent organization”). Benefic, the rarest of the three, tends to be a bit high-flown, and it’s mostly used to describe a favorable power or force.