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 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from benefit

Verb

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for benefit

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Film, television and live theater production costs already enjoy this tax benefit. Taylor Mims, Billboard, "Independent Music Leaders Urge Congress to Pass HITS Act and Help Struggling Recording Artists," 10 Feb. 2021 But even this last, fairly modest tax benefit required a fight, including a threat from Marco Rubio to vote down the entire package if it were not included. Christopher Caldwell, The New Republic, "Can There Ever Be a Working-Class Republican Party?," 8 Feb. 2021 This one-off benefit is intended to help relieve millions of families hurt by the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Josh Boak, Star Tribune, "Analysis: Child poverty a hidden focus of virus relief plan," 8 Feb. 2021 To earn this benefit and others, Instacart Express members pay $99 a year or $9.99 a month. Cameron Fields, cleveland, "Should more contagious COVID-19 variant change your grocery shopping from in-store to pick-up? Here are options," 22 Jan. 2021 But no gold standard research proves that monoclonal antibodies do, indeed, provide this benefit. NBC News, "Monoclonal antibodies could ease record Covid hospitalizations. Why are they going unused?," 15 Jan. 2021 The proposition may very well have led us to our current economic crisis, where inequality and disparity is rampant and labor rights are crushed for the benefit of big Capricornian Corporations, who made out quite handsomely in 2020. Janelle Belgrave, refinery29.com, "Your Money Horoscope For 2021 Is Here," 12 Jan. 2021 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution does not endorse any specific weight-loss program but includes names and links for the benefit of readers who want further information. Michelle Brooks, ajc, "SUCCESS STORY / Jacqueline Butler, 42: From 170 pounds to 138 pounds," 11 Jan. 2021 The data collected through Game Check helps ADCNR’s Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) make management decisions about the state’s deer and turkey populations and fine-tune seasons and bag limits for the benefit of hunters. Frank Sargeant, al, "Alabama re-activates Game Check Call-In Service," 6 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But then that would be the people who benefit from the program helping decide who gets the money. Taylor Mims, Billboard, "Neumos in Seattle, in a Pandemic: We Have 'No Idea' When SOS Grants Will Be Open," 10 Feb. 2021 More than half of the workers who would benefit from a wage increase are women, according to the Economic Policy Institute. NBC News, "About 275,000 women left workforce in January in 'critical' pandemic trend, experts say," 6 Feb. 2021 Elderly people and disabled or chronically ill people who can’t get to health clinics more than once, incarcerated people, and unhoused people are some of many groups who could benefit from not having to wait for a second dose. Elly Belle, refinery29.com, "Johnson & Johnson’s Single-Shot Vaccine Could Be The Answer To These At-Risk Groups," 1 Feb. 2021 In such heartbreaking cases, the equipment would be reassigned to patients who could benefit from it more. Katherine Harmon Courage, Scientific American, "COVID-Overwhelmed Hospitals Strain Staff and Hope to Avoid Rationing Care," 27 Jan. 2021 Companies that would benefit the most from an improving economy had some of the bigger gains, including industrial and energy stocks. Geir Moulson, Star Tribune, "Merkel: pandemic shows German weaknesses, need to cooperate," 26 Jan. 2021 Companies that would benefit the most from an improving economy had some of the bigger gains, including industrial and energy stocks. BostonGlobe.com, "Stocks climb on Wall Street as company earnings roll in," 26 Jan. 2021 Kim Kardashian West has visited the White House to advise Trump on less famous people who could benefit from pardons and commutations. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, "Trump issues wave of pardons in final hours as president," 20 Jan. 2021 As President Trump enters the final hours of his term, he has been intently focused on who should benefit from his clemency power. New York Times, "Trump Prepares Pardon Wave for Final Hours," 18 Jan. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about benefit

Time Traveler for benefit

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for benefit

Last Updated

19 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Benefit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/benefit. Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on benefit

What made you want to look up benefit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!