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

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 To formulate the guidelines, published in JAMA this week, a panel reviewed previous research on the benefits and harms of preventative interventions for perinatal depression. Korin Miller, SELF, "How New Recommendations on Perinatal Depression Might Change Your Next Prenatal Appointment," 14 Feb. 2019 The cost is, hands down, the biggest benefit of a modular kitchen. Jessica Dailey, Good Housekeeping, "Modular Kitchens," 11 Feb. 2019 This gives crew members the benefit of the doubt—and the power to boot you from a flight based on their discretion. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "Rules For Flying to Follow So You Don't Get Kicked Off Your Flight," 19 Dec. 2018 Eventually she was cast as the president’s daughter on The West Wing, but playing at the margins of Hollywood all those years had its benefits. Carina Chocano, Vogue, "Elisabeth Moss on Jordan Peele’s Us, Handmaid’s New Season, and Why She Loves Real Housewives," 14 Feb. 2019 This multi-peptide serum works gently on sensitive skin, is so easy to use, and has a cult following for its all-in-one anti-aging benefits. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "I'm Addicted to Anti-Aging Products and The Ordinary Is the Best Brand I've Ever Used," 13 Feb. 2019 Kavovit uses her femininity to her benefit, not to her detriment. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "How RHONY's Barbara Kavovit Shattered The Glass Ceiling Of The Construction Industry," 29 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

His base is France’s meritocratic elite, the people who have benefited from the same global trends that have left most of the country behind. Pascal-emmanuel Gobry, WSJ, "The Failure of the French Elite," 22 Feb. 2019 Because of myths like these, many people who could benefit from antipsychotics are more hesitant to try this type of treatment. Kasandra Brabaw, SELF, "7 Myths You Might Believe About Antipsychotic Medications," 7 Dec. 2018 Perhaps by sharing the cheek-to-cheek photo of her and Zayn, Gigi could be trying to take some of the power back from the paparazzi, who would greatly benefit from a photo of them together. Dan Barna, Teen Vogue, "Gigi Hadid Calls Zayn Malik Her "Happy Place" on Instagram," 22 Oct. 2018 Federal housing policy currently transfers a great deal of the country’s wealth to homeowners, who have historically benefited from tax breaks like the mortgage-interest deduction. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "Can a federal tax credit help rent-burdened Americans?," 20 July 2018 The auction, which included experiences from the Orioles and every other major league team, benefited the Katharine Feeney Memorial Scholarship Fund, which was named for the longtime MLB executive who died in April 2017 of cancer. Eduardo A. Encina, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles notes: Cashner heads to DL with neck strain, receives injection; Ramírez called up," 11 July 2018 The losses illustrate an ongoing concern from rural or suburban factions that worry measures like this will only benefit big cities and neglect the needs of smaller municipalities. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "Transit on the ballot: How cities voted to fund transportation," 7 Nov. 2018 Once again, a women's pain is being utilized in a way that does not benefit her, and—as is viscerally obvious watching the testimony—is actively, terribly, painful. Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "The Christine Blasey Ford Quote That Will Stay With You," 27 Sep. 2018 Worldwide fossil fuel consumption is expected to rise for decades, and U.S. taxpayers benefit by exporting fuel. Zack Colman, Scientific American, "A Trump Oil Boom Could Transform This Rocky Mountain Landscape," 13 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

25 Mar 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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