benefit

noun
ben·​e·​fit | \ ˈbe-nə-ˌfit How to pronounce benefit (audio) \

Definition of benefit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : something that produces good or helpful results or effects or that promotes well-being : advantage discounted prices and other benefits of a museum membership The benefits outweigh the risks of taking the drug. reaping the benefits of their hard work changes that will be to your benefit
b : useful aid : help without the benefit of a lawyer
2a : financial help in time of sickness, old age, or unemployment is on unemployment benefit a disability benefit a family on benefits
b : a payment or service provided for under an annuity, pension plan, or insurance policy collecting his retirement benefits
c : a service (such as health insurance) or right (as to take vacation time) provided by an employer in addition to wages or salary The job doesn't pay much, but the benefits are good.
3 : an entertainment or social event to raise funds for a person or cause holding a benefit to raise money for the school
4 archaic : an act of kindness : benefaction

benefit

verb
benefited\ ˈbe-​nə-​ˌfi-​təd How to pronounce benefited (audio) \ also benefitted; benefiting also benefitting

Definition of benefit (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to be useful or profitable to tax cuts that primarily benefit the wealthy held a fund-raiser to benefit her campaign

intransitive verb

: to receive help or an advantage : to receive benefit patients who will benefit from the drug has benefited from his experiences in the military

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Other Words from benefit

Verb

benefiter \ ˈbe-​nə-​ˌfi-​tər How to pronounce benefiter (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for benefit

Synonyms: Noun

advantage, aid, asset, boon, help

Synonyms: Verb

advantage, avail, help, profit, serve

Antonyms: Noun

disadvantage, drawback, encumbrance, hindrance, impediment, minus

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Examples of benefit in a Sentence

Noun

the benefits of fresh air and sunshine A benefit of museum membership is that purchases are discounted. There are many financial benefits to owning your own home. She is just now starting to reap the benefits of all her hard work. The benefits of taking the drug outweigh its risks. I see no benefit in changing the system now. We're lucky to be able to get the full benefit of her knowledge. He began collecting his retirement benefits when he was 65. He began collecting his retirement benefit when he was 65. The job doesn't pay much, but the benefits are good.

Verb

The new plan may benefit many students. medicines that benefit thousands of people The politician held a fund-raiser to benefit his campaign. Some critics say that the tax cuts only benefit wealthy people. He'll benefit by having experiences I never did.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Even on days when you're not desperately turned on, making time for masturbation has lots of benefits, from helping you explore your sexuality to relieving stress and even improving your health. Suzannah Weiss, Glamour, "The Best 7 Masturbation Tips to Get You Super Turned On When You're Solo," 23 Mar. 2019 Studies have shown that there are a ton of benefits that come from sleeping in colder temperatures: reducing the risk of metabolic illness, less trouble sleeping, falling asleep faster. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Studies Show Sleeping in a Cold Room is Actually Better for Your Health," 19 Mar. 2019 In some places, the local authorities require young adults to complete an internet literacy course to receive welfare benefits, such as a monthly stipend. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Why we can’t stop debating whether Facebook sells data," 14 Dec. 2018 The benefits of those are accruing to a very small few. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "After 20,000 workers walked out, Google said it got the message. The workers disagree.," 21 Nov. 2018 The Taliban benefit from sanctuary in parts of neighboring Pakistan. Robert Burns, Fox News, "American general says Afghan battlefield losses are rising," 4 Oct. 2018 Joining Leaders Club brings a bevy of benefits, including continental breakfast for two throughout stays, complimentary Wi-Fi, and early check-in, late check-out, and room upgrade priority when available. Ryan Craggs, Condé Nast Traveler, "Leading Hotels of the World Just Improved Its Loyalty Program," 3 Oct. 2018 The benefits to listeners aren’t immediately apparent, either, unlike some other proprietary analytics. Ashley Carman, The Verge, "NPR wants to know what podcast ads you skip," 27 Dec. 2018 Health care coverage costs too much and the benefits aren’t good enough. Jill Filipovic, Harper's BAZAAR, "Your State-by-State Guide to Women Running in the Midterms," 31 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Advertising The campaign estimates this will cost $315 billion over a decade, paid for by strengthening the estate tax and closing tax loopholes that benefit the rich. Juana Summers, The Seattle Times, "Kamala Harris promises teachers a raise if elected president," 26 Mar. 2019 Later this year, Pomellato will launch the Pomellato Sisterhood Initiative, with programs that will benefit women. Liz Cantrell, Town & Country, "Jane Fonda Speaks Out About Female Empowerment on International Women's Day," 8 Mar. 2019 Then there's the fact that Amazon is a shipping and logistics company, one that would benefit from owning and investing in the pieces of tomorrow's transportation. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "Amazon Invests In Electric Pickup Truck Startup Rivian," 15 Feb. 2019 Rihanna has been hosting the (almost) annual Diamond Ball, an event that benefits the Clara Lionel Foundation, since 2014 — long before Fenty Beauty was even a twinkle in the icon's eye. Marci Robin, Allure, "Rihanna Wore Fenty Beauty's New Diamond Bomb to the Diamond Ball, Of Course," 14 Sep. 2018 Mentorship can also increase self confidence, boost communication skills, and enhance leadership qualities that'll benefit girls throughout their careers. Shannon Willoby, Redbook, "Why Girls Need More Mentors in STEM," 8 Mar. 2019 The charity concert benefitted a number of veterans support organizations. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "How the Royal Family Celebrated Prince Harry's Birthday," 17 Sep. 2018 The law benefited visual artists, who, unlike composers, filmmakers or writers, do not receive a share of any future sales under copyright law. Amanda Svachula, New York Times, "California Tried to Give Artists a Cut. But the Judges Said No.," 11 July 2018 According to new charges filed April 10, 2018 against Adidas executive James Gatto, a mother and guardian of the two unnamed KU players are said to have benefited from illicit payments, which were made without knowledge of the university. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "Mellinger Minutes: Whit not an All-Star (?), Jeff Long and KU, Chiefs fears, Odom's crossroads," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'benefit.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of benefit

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for benefit

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French benfet, from Latin bene factum, from neuter of bene factus, past participle of bene facere

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Statistics for benefit

Last Updated

8 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for benefit

The first known use of benefit was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for benefit

benefit

noun

English Language Learners Definition of benefit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a good or helpful result or effect
: money that is paid by a company (such as an insurance company) or by a government when someone dies, becomes sick, stops working, etc.
: something extra (such as vacation time or health insurance) that is given by an employer to workers in addition to their regular pay

benefit

verb

English Language Learners Definition of benefit (Entry 2 of 2)

: to be useful or helpful to (someone or something)
: to be helped

benefit

noun
ben·​e·​fit | \ ˈbe-nə-ˌfit How to pronounce benefit (audio) \

Kids Definition of benefit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a good or helpful result or effect the benefits of fresh air
2 : useful assistance : help … he is an orphan whom I raised myself without benefit of governess …— Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth
3 : money paid in time of death, sickness, or unemployment or in old age (as by an insurance company)

benefit

verb
benefited; benefiting

Kids Definition of benefit (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to be useful or profitable to The changes will benefit everyone.
2 : to be helped He'll benefit from new experiences.

benefit

noun
ben·​e·​fit

Legal Definition of benefit

1 : something that provides an advantage or gain specifically : an enhancement of property value, enjoyment of facilities, or increase in general prosperity arising from a public improvement
general benefit
: a benefit to the community at large resulting from a public improvement
special benefit
: a benefit from a public improvement that directly enhances the value of particular property and is not shared by the community at large

Note: In proceedings for a partial taking for the purpose of a public improvement, the condemning authority may use a special benefit to the remaining land as a set-off against the landowner's damages for the taking.

2 in the civil law of Louisiana : a right especially that serves to limit a person's liability
benefit of discussion
: the right of a surety being sued to compel the suing creditor to sue the principal first
benefit of division
: the right of a surety being sued to compel the suing creditor to also sue the cosureties also : the right of the surety to be liable only for his or her proportionate share of the debt
benefit of inventory
: the right of an heir to be held liable for the debts of the estate only to the extent of the assets in the estate

Note: The heir obtains the benefit of inventory by having a qualified public officer (as a notary public) make an inventory of the assets in the estate within the time period set by statute.

3a : financial help in time of disability, sickness, old age, or unemployment
b : payment or service provided for under an annuity, pension plan, or insurance policy — see also death benefit

Other Words from benefit

benefit verb

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Comments on benefit

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