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


benefited\ ˈbe-​nə-​ˌfi-​təd How to pronounce benefit (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


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for benefit

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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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 Typically, a vendor emphasized a narrow, short-term benefit, say, saving the customer money, as the foundation to build the business. Ashu Goel, Forbes, 8 Sep. 2021 That’s because the Medicare hospice benefit, which took effect in 1983, provides palliative care and support for terminally ill patients who have six months or less to live — and who agree to forgo curative or life-prolonging care. Kaiser Health News, oregonlive, 6 Sep. 2021 All proceeds from the event benefit The Creative Coalition’s year-round work to protect and advance the arts. Michael Schneider, Variety, 3 Sep. 2021 There are advantages and disadvantages to using a digital currency – and one benefit that almost no one is talking about. Christopher Elliott, USA TODAY, 3 Sep. 2021 Rather than being well-defined as a safety-net of last resort, Medicaid’s long-term-care benefit too much resembles a universal entitlement which lacks the ability to purchase high-quality care across the board. Chris Pope, National Review, 2 Sep. 2021 The designs were selected based on creativity, originality, benefit for citizens, knowledge and presentation, according to the release. Arkansas Online, 30 Aug. 2021 Another benefit: If the store leaks your contact info, your personal email address won’t be compromised. Washington Post, 30 Aug. 2021 Beyond the Blues: Charles E Kubly Foundation benefit with music by Willy Porter and the Dan Dance Trio , 6:30-10:30 p.m. Sept. 10. Elaine Rewolinski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 28 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb All businesses, but especially those that see consumers face to face, will benefit from flexibility to ramp up and then ramp down as further waves of cases come through their communities. Bill Conerly, Forbes, 9 Sep. 2021 The virtual fundraiser will benefit the Otis Redding Foundation. Darlene Aderoju, Billboard, 9 Sep. 2021 How many more would benefit from fresh eyes and a little persistence? Longreads, 9 Sep. 2021 While the commission is not required draw individually competitive districts, the resulting statewide redistricting plans can't disproportionately benefit any political party. Clara Hendrickson, Detroit Free Press, 8 Sep. 2021 Terry McAuliffe may benefit if reproductive rights return to the forefront as a campaign issue in the upcoming gubernatorial elections. Grace Segers, The New Republic, 8 Sep. 2021 This year’s event will benefit dozens of San Diego nonprofits. Linda Mcintosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Sep. 2021 Concert proceeds will benefit the John Brown House and the Sojourner Truth Statue fund. Megan Becka, cleveland, 7 Sep. 2021 Proceeds benefit the center's youth theater programming. Arkansas Online, 6 Sep. 2021

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4


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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Time Traveler for benefit

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for benefit

Last Updated

11 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Benefit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for benefit



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 : fringe benefit



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

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


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)


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.



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

More from Merriam-Webster on benefit

Nglish: Translation of benefit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of benefit for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about benefit


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