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

Markets are terrific at spurring innovation, driving down costs, and producing consumer benefits—if those markets operate according to some basic rules. Sheelah Kolhatkar, The New Yorker, "Can Elizabeth Warren Win It All?," 14 June 2019 Charter schools have no special educational benefit. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Your Say: How can we improve public education?," 14 June 2019 Bush and his family were receiving cash and benefits from a prospective sports marketing agency. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "As the NCAA readies its case, Arizona should brace for the worst (just ask USC)," 13 June 2019 From time to time we’ve been made aware of criminals using login credentials stolen from outside sources to access customer loyalty benefits. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wausau Army reserve sergeant made thousands selling stolen Kohl's Cash codes, charges say," 13 June 2019 Team members have access to a competitive benefits package and wellness program. Leigh Farr, azcentral, "Small Company Rankings," 13 June 2019 But in 1981, Springsteen staged a benefit concert in Los Angeles, bringing veterans like Muller onstage and arguing passionately for the community. Andrew R. Chow, Time, "In a Culture War Over the Military, Bruce Springsteen Stands Alone," 13 June 2019 The move created about $2 billion in annual economic benefits, according to estimates from earlier this decade. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, "Keep Landsat data free, panel urges Department of the Interior," 12 June 2019 This could affect congressional apportionment and benefit rural, more Republican states. Rebecca Kaplan, CBS News, "Trump claims executive privilege over census documents," 12 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The latest trade numbers suggest that, China has been selling Americans fewer goods like computers and auto parts—and that other countries are benefitting from taking up the slack. Gwynn Guilford, Quartz, "The trade war is already pushing businesses out of China—and it could be permanent," 14 June 2019 The increased setback, four feet more than required, would benefit the four-story condo building, developer documents said. Erin Hegarty, Naperville Sun, "72 apartments, first-floor retail space proposed for third phase of Main Street Promendade in downtown Naperville," 14 June 2019 In addition, a court officer who was indicted along with the judge has benefitted from $2,500 in legal fees paid by the public, the report said. Fox News, "Taxpayers paid $127G in legal bills for judge accused of helping illegal immigrant avoid ICE: report," 14 June 2019 Pichai also sounded a similar note to Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, who have suggested that breaking up US tech companies could benefit businesses in China. Seth Fiegerman, CNN, "CNN Business Exclusive: Google CEO reacts to looming US antitrust probes for first time," 14 June 2019 The poor delivery of Naito’s diagnosis reflects common practice in a country where Back estimates that more than 200,000 doctors and other providers could benefit from communication training. NBC News, "Never say 'die': Why so many doctors won't break bad news," 12 June 2019 But multiple Project Galileo users, along with Cloudflare itself, note that organizations benefit from having choices about who to work with. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "Cloudflare’s Five-Year Project to Protect Nonprofits Online," 12 June 2019 However, reverse mortgages also can benefit homeowners from an estate-planning aspect, Bregman said. Russ Wiles, azcentral, "Reverse mortgages can cause problems when spouses, heirs aren't on board," 12 June 2019 The World of the Crusades is an extraordinarily fulsome study of a fascinatingly nihilistic struggle, and anybody would benefit from its readable pages. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Who Owns the Crusades?," 11 June 2019

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

17 Jun 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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