also largess, "willingness to give or spend freely; munificence," c. 1200, from Old French largesse, largece "a bounty, munificence," from Vulgar Latin *largitia "abundance" (source also of Spanish largueza, Italian larghezza), from Latin largus "abundant, large, liberal" (see large). In medieval theology, "the virtue whose opposite is avarice, and whose excess is prodigality" [The Middle English Compendium]. For Old French suffix -esse, compare fortress. Related: Largation.
updated on October 08, 2022