Is there a difference between kindness and generosity? For example,

I have benefited a lot from your kindness and generosity.

The difference in my mind is subtle but I think it is a significant difference; it's just that I can't explain it!

  • 2
    What did a dictionary say? something like: 'generosity is giving a lot', 'kindness is doing nice things'?
    – Mitch
    Commented Jun 1, 2012 at 1:57
  • Can you downvote a question being closed? I'm a native speaker of English and merely listing the definitions here isn't enough to explain the differences satisfactorily. In fact, in my experience, the dictionary definitions are never able to fully explain the difference between similar words.
    – StuartQ
    Commented Aug 4, 2018 at 15:59

2 Answers 2


Generosity: willingness and liberality in giving away one's money, time, etc.; magnanimity

involves giving.

Kindness: a demonstration of sympathy or understanding

does not need to involve giving; but often does.

Showing kindness often means at least the giving of one's attention.


Generosity is the quality of being selfless and giving. Generosity is typically a reference to a person's willingness to give - whether they are giving something concrete or abstract.

Kindness is more broad, and can actually include generosity. A kind person will generally be forgiving, not easily angered, loving, inclusive, and generous. They focus on the health and happiness of others more than than they focus on their own health and happiness. They are humble, and do not try to get glory for themselves. Kindness is a always seen as a good quality, but can be pretty general... I had to think pretty hard about how to make the distinction.

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