(A) duty. The doing a kind action to another, from mere good will, without any legal obligation. It is a moral duty only, and it cannot be enforced by law. A good wan is benevolent to the poor, but no law can compel him to be so. (B) English law. An aid given by the subjects to the king under a pretended gratuity, but in realty it was an extortion and imposition.
Law Dictionary – Alternative Legal Definition
The doing a kind or helpful action towards another, under no obligation except an ethical one. Is no doubt distinguishable from the words “liberality” and “charity;” for, although many charitable institutions are very properly called “benevolent,” it is impossible to say that every object of a man’s benevolence is also an object of his charity. James v. Allen, 3 Mer. 17; Pell v. Mercer, 14 R. I. 443; Murdock V. Bridges, 91 Me. 124, 39 Atl. 475. In public law. Nominally a voluntary gratuity given by subjects to their king, but in reality a tax or forced loan.