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

With changes that are significantly more noticeable than last year's, the 2020 A4 benefits from new styling at the front and the rear and a reworked interior with a new infotainment system. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, "The 2020 Audi A4, S4, and Allroad Freshen Up with an Attractive Styling Update," 15 May 2019 Plus, there's no shortage of surfaces that could reap the benefits of a whitewashed rustic-meets-vintage look—think everything from your bedroom dresser to coffee table to living room floorboards. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "How to Whitewash Wood Furniture: 8 Easy Steps for Your Next Furniture Makeover," 19 Apr. 2019 To start reaping the benefits of this sensual kissing position, gently suck and nibble on your partner’s neck, traveling from below the ear to the collarbone. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "17 Kissing Positions You Should Try During Your Next Makeout Session," 9 Apr. 2019 The benefit’s live auction raised funds that will help to realize this future. Ella Riley-adams, Vogue, "Edible Schoolyard NYC’s Spring Benefit Gathered the City’s Best Chefs to Honor Alice Waters," 16 Apr. 2019 The benefits of moving from a hard drive to an SSD can’t be overstated. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Why Sony's PlayStation 5 specs matter to PC gamers: Ryzen, Radeon, SSDs, and ray tracing," 16 Apr. 2019 The Soft Hickey/Neck Kiss How to pull it off: This kissing position gives all the benefits of getting a hickey, without the actual mark. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "17 Kissing Positions You Should Try During Your Next Makeout Session," 9 Apr. 2019 Women of color are tired of putting in the work while others reap the benefits. Valerie Complex, Harper's BAZAAR, "Brie Larson Wants Captain Marvel to Change the Film Industry," 25 Mar. 2019 The people who will reap the greatest benefits from these bags are those who travel a lot. Erin Florio, Condé Nast Traveler, "Industrial Designer Marc Newson Shares His Tips On Milan," 20 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Part of the proceeds from the spring market will benefit two local nonprofits, Hudson Valley Seed and Newburgh Urban Farm & Food. Ingrid Abramovitch, ELLE Decor, "This Hudson Valley Craft Market Will Jumpstart Your Garden," 9 May 2019 The splurge wasn't just for the sake of a custom gown, but would benefit a laudable cause. Liz Cantrell, Town & Country, "Carolina Herrera Gives Washington Some Real Fashion for a Change," 3 May 2019 Not everyone with type 2 diabetes would benefit from losing weight. Korin Miller, SELF, "8 Ways to Better Control Your Type 2 Diabetes," 19 Apr. 2019 Two proxy advisory firms say that Boeing Co. shareholders would benefit from seeing the chairman and chief executive roles separated following two fatal crashes of its 737 Max plane. Patrick Thomas, WSJ, "Proxy Advisers Push Boeing to Separate CEO and Chairman Roles," 16 Apr. 2019 An analysis from the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, however, found that the proposal would benefit wealthier families more than poorer ones. Hayley Harding, The Seattle Times, "Looking for the perfect child care? Join the waiting list.," 13 Apr. 2019 Simply, any room or even hallway that needs a touch of drama, of light, of specialness, would benefit from a coat (or many) of high-gloss paint. Kaitlin Menza, House Beautiful, "What It Actually Takes to Lacquer Your Walls," 20 Mar. 2019 Plus, the same display can benefit from Dolby Vision HDR technology. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Lenovo's ThinkPad T490 emphasizes display improvements in 2019 refresh," 24 Feb. 2019 Extra cash is always fabulous, so for the next few weeks, consider which areas of your life would benefit the most from additional financial padding. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What September's Virgo Horoscope Means for You," 30 Aug. 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

20 May 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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