ben·​e·​fice ˈbe-nə-fəs How to pronounce benefice (audio)
: an ecclesiastical office to which the revenue from an endowment is attached
: a feudal estate in lands : fief
benefice transitive verb

Examples of benefice in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Vicar of Bray was a celebrated side-switching clergyman who managed to retain his benefice during the religious controversies of the mid-16th century by constantly shifting his allegiance. D.j. Taylor, WSJ, 29 Oct. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'benefice.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin beneficium, from Latin, favor, promotion, from beneficus

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of benefice was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near benefice

Cite this Entry

“Benefice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


ben·​e·​fice ˈben-ə-fəs How to pronounce benefice (audio)
: a post held by a member of the clergy that gives the right to use certain property and to receive income from stated sources

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