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 At least 25 states have responded by announcing plans to cut off some emergency federal aid to the unemployed -- including a $300-a-week federal benefit -- as early as next week. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 4 June 2021 Another benefit to Amazon's unique DSP model, according to Moore, is the trucks are essentially an advertisement for Amazon. Matt Mcfarland, CNN, 3 June 2021 The Parma City School District is promoting a pretty amazing benefit -- free college -- for its OAPSE/AFSCME members and families. John Benson, cleveland, 3 June 2021 Bradwell had little choice but to take family leave, a benefit that expired before her daughter’s in-person schooling resumed. USA Today, 3 June 2021 Pace said being associated with the Olympics can boost morale within companies—a significant, if immeasurable, benefit of the partner program. Adam Epstein, Quartz, 2 June 2021 Families will be drawn into these risk-benefit discussions, because treating a parent’s Alzheimer’s with aducanumab may well mean their children will learn their genetic risk of developing the disease. Jason Karlawish, STAT, 2 June 2021 The benefit of taking the time to mend your old wounds? Meghan Rose, Glamour, 1 June 2021 Developing a brilliant memory has benefit beyond its simple premise. Jodie Cook, Forbes, 1 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For some, that kind of responsibility can be empowering; others might benefit from being able to focus on their games, instead of worrying about which pitcher and catcher would make the best battery. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, 3 June 2021 Green Bay's rushing attack should benefit from the contrasting styles of its two top rushers, with Jones showcasing breakaway ability and Dillon having the strength to punish potential tacklers while picking up first downs. Steve Megargee, Star Tribune, 3 June 2021 Though superstars like Bueckers clearly stand the most to gain from NIL legislation, some athletes at smaller schools could benefit as well. Alex Putterman,, 2 June 2021 Even if the franchise is high on center Tyler Biadasz, some experienced depth could benefit the team. David Moore, Dallas News, 2 June 2021 That’s why 100% of proceeds of the colorful collection, which launched yesterday, will benefit the Trevor Project, the nation’s leading national organization for providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to the LGBTQ+ community. Blake Newby, Essence, 1 June 2021 On the other hand, folks with dry skin can really benefit from finding the best face serum and oil too. Hannah Dylan Pasternak, SELF, 1 June 2021 Here, snorkelers benefit from large brain and elkhorn coral in waters that only go 6 to 8 feet deep. Alex Schechter, Travel + Leisure, 1 June 2021 As in years past, the event will benefit the Baptist Health Foundation, having raised $290,000 already -- the most ever for the Little Rock Open, according to tournament director Chip Stearns. Mitchell Gladstone, Arkansas Online, 31 May 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

7 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Benefit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 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



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


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