13 “Kind” Synonyms To Describe Those Generous And Tender Feelings

Kindness matters, especially these days when it seems like everyone is going through difficult and challenging times. But being kind isn’t just about being nice. The word kind encompasses a wide range of behaviors, characteristics, and actions, and there are so many words we can use to describe the nuances of kindness. Keep reading to learn 13 new and unique ways to speak and write about being kind.


When someone is kind, their kindness permeates everything they do. Benevolent is one way to describe this type of person. Benevolent means “characterized by or expressing goodwill or kindly feelings.”


  • The mice in the fairytale recognized Cinderella as a benevolent caretaker and friend.

In Latin, benevolent means “kindhearted.” It was first recorded in English as early as 1425.


Forgiveness can also be a form of kindness, as described by the word magnanimous, which means “generous in forgiving an insult or injury; free from petty resentfulness or vindictiveness.”


  • Even though the science fair winner had tried to sabotage Reggie’s experiment, he was magnanimous in his praise for her.

Magnanimous stems from the Latin magnanimus, which means “great-souled.” It has been in use in English since the late 1500s.


Apologizing can be a magnanimous gesture as well. Read about different ways to say you’re sorry.


In our society, we tend to think of kindness as something we show others. It’s not rooted in selfishness or what we hope to get back from being kind. It’s altruistic. Altruistic means “unselfishly concerned for or devoted to the welfare of others.”


  • He volunteered to take his cousin to the park on Saturdays for altruistic reasons, not because he was being paid.


dsIt feels like the right time to talk about propitious. Propitious means “presenting favorable conditions; favorable.” What does this have to do with kindness? Well, think of it this way: kindness is about doing the right thing and showing favor when it’s needed.


  • The holiday season seems like a particularly propitious time to do something good for others.

Propitious is a word that captures the spirit of kindness and of creating opportunities to practice kindness in everyday life.


We can’t help but get good vibes from this next word. Amiable means “having or showing pleasant, good-natured personal qualities; affable.” Someone who’s amiable might also be described as charming, cheerful, or sociable.


  • The Lyft driver’s amiable disposition made it easier to sit through rush hour traffic on the way to the airport.

Amiable shares a root with the word amicable. Both words ultimately stem from the Latin amicus, which means “friend, loved one,” or “friendly, loving.”


We really mean it when we say sincere is a great synonym to use for kind. Sincere means “free of deceit, hypocrisy, or falseness; earnest.” It’s a word often used to describe not just good actions or behavior, but also good intentions.


  • The teacher impressed her students with her sincere desire to help them become better learners.

Like many of the other kind words we’ve seen so far, sincere also has roots in Latin. Its origin is the Latin sincērus, which means “pure, clean, untainted.”


Gracious is a way of describing those that show kindness and humility, especially when under pressure or in situations where kindness may not necessarily be expected. The word gracious means “pleasantly kind, benevolent, and courteous.”


  • The actress was bombarded by fans, but she was still gracious enough to stop for a photo with my little sister.

As you might expect, gracious is related to grace, which comes from the Latin grātia, or “favor, kindness, esteem.” Gracious was first recorded in English in the late 13th century.


Kindness often goes hand-in-hand with being compassionate, and that’s where the word clement comes into play. Clement means “mild or merciful in disposition or character; lenient; compassionate.”


  • The clement restaurateur opened his doors to families for free after the hurricane passed.

As you can see from the example, clement is used to describe people, actions, and situations that show good nature, mercy, and care for others.


The word nice doesn’t quite capture one’s compassionate side. Consider one of these alternatives instead.


Hey, can you do us a favor? Stick around, and read a little more about obliging. Obliging means “willing or eager to do favors, offer one’s services, etc.; accommodating.” It’s a form of oblige, which derives from the Latin word obligāre, or “to bind (together).”


  • Ever obliging, the star performed three encores before finally leaving the stage.

Obliging can describe a person or their actions. It was first recorded in English in the 1630s.


If you find yourself crying at every wedding, graduation, and even during particularly sappy holiday commercials on TV, you might be tenderhearted. Don’t worry, it’s a good thing to be. Tenderhearted means “soft-hearted, sympathetic.”


  • Everyone who read the book loved the tough yet tenderhearted hero who won the heroine over with his heart of gold.

Tenderhearted has been in use in English since at least 1540.


If you’re describing someone who is “warm and pleasantly cheerful; cordial,” the word you’re looking for is genial. This word, which comes from the Latin geniālis, or “festive, jovial, pleasant,” calls to mind larger than life, cheerful characters, like Hagrid from Harry Potter or the Ghost of Christmas Present in A Christmas Carol.


  • We couldn’t leave the library without stopping to talk to Joan, the genial librarian who made it difficult to follow the rule about being quiet.

Of course, the use of genial isn’t limited to describing people. You could also have a genial conversation or give someone a genial smile.


It’s important to be kind to everyone, not just the people in your circle. That’s a part of the reason why we have words like benignant. Someone who’s benignant is “kind, especially to inferiors; gracious.”


  • The benignant king went down in history as the fairest leader the country had ever seen.

Benignant is modeled on its antonym, malignant, and it contains the root word benign. It was first recorded in English as early as 1775.


There are some people who just exude charisma and always seem open to conversation. You might describe those people as being affable. Affable means “pleasantly easy to approach and to talk to; friendly; cordial; warmly polite.”


  • I had no one to talk to at the wedding, except for one affable bridesmaid I remembered from college.

Affable first appeared in English in the 1530s from the Latin affābilis, which means “that can be spoken to, courteous.”

Take the quiz

If you’re feeling warm and fuzzy after reading all of these kind words, keep the feeling going by taking our fun quiz here. Not quite ready to put your knowledge to the test? We thought it might be kind of us to offer a little extra review. You can check out the definitions for all of these words one more time with our handy word list.


Be kind to yourself by nourishing your vocab with these warm and inviting words for fall!

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