Etymology
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liberally (adv.)

late 14c., "generously, munificently," from liberal (adj.) + -ly (2). Meaning "freely" is c. 1500.

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handsomely (adv.)

1540s, "conveniently," from handsome + -ly (2). Meaning "attractively" is from 1610s; "liberally, generously" from 1735.

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largely (adv.)

c. 1200, "liberally, generously, bountifully;" also "in large measure; abundantly," from large + -ly (2). Meaning "extensively, to a great extent" is c. 1400.

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munificence (n.)

"quality of giving or bestowing liberally or lavishly," early 15c., from Old French munificence, from Latin munificentia "bountifulness, liberality, generosity," from stem of munificus "generous, bountiful, liberal," literally "present-making," from munus "gift or service; function, task, duty, office" (see municipal) + unstressed stem of facere "to do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").

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slather (v.)

"spread liberally," 1847, of uncertain origin. Early 19c. local glossaries from western England have the word with a sense "to slip or slide."

Slather on the manure on all the hoed crops, if you have it; if not buy of your improvident neighbor. [Genesee Farmer, June 1847]

Sometimes said to be from a dialectal noun meaning "large amount" (usually as plural, slathers), but this is first attested 1855. Related: Slathered; slathering.

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bleeding heart (n.)

name applied to several types of flowering plant, 1690s; see bleeding (adj.) + heart (n.).

In the American English sense of "person liberally and excessively sympathetic" (especially toward those the speaker or writer deems not to deserve it) is attested by 1936 in the work of popular conservative newspaper columnist Westbrook Pegler (1894-1969), who first used it in reference to his own feelings about the Republican Party but by 1938 regularly deployed it against the Roosevelt administration and also as a modifier (bleeding-heart liberal) in his "Fair Enough" column: 

And I question the humanitarianism of any professional or semi-pro bleeding heart who clamors that not a single person must be allowed to hunger, but would stall the entire legislative program in a fight to jam through a law intended, at the most optimistic figure, to save 14 lives a year. ["Fair Enough," in Freemont (Ohio) Messenger, Jan. 8, 1938]

Bleeding in a figurative sense of "generous" is attested from late 16c., and the notion of one's heart bleeding as a figure of emotional anguish is from late 14c.; the exact image here may be the "bleeding heart of Jesus."

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