bo·nus | \ ˈbō-nəs \

Definition of bonus 

: something in addition to what is expected or strictly due: such as

a : money or an equivalent given in addition to an employee's usual compensation

b : a premium (as of stock) given by a corporation to a purchaser of its securities, to a promoter, or to an employee

c : a government payment to war veterans

d : a sum in excess of salary given to an athlete for signing with a team

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Examples of bonus in a Sentence

As a bonus for good behavior you can stay up late. The product has the added bonus of providing extra vitamins. Staff members were given a bonus for finishing the project on schedule. The company offered bonuses to entice new workers. We receive annual bonuses at the end of the year.
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Recent Examples on the Web

This was an incentive for those who are bonus club members. Christopher Brito, CBS News, "Build-A-Bear mayhem: Company cancels "Pay Your Age" sale amid massive crowds, safety concerns," 12 July 2018 Terrorists with Israeli citizenship or Jerusalem residency are given additional bonuses. Jewish Journal, "Abbas declares Israeli legislation won't stop him from paying terrorists," 11 July 2018 Weirdly, the less-certain measurement provides a big bonus. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Quantum measurements could power a tiny, hyper-efficient engine," 10 July 2018 Twitch Prime members have enjoyed bonus games and DLC through this app before, but never this many in such a short span of time. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Twitch Prime’s “free game every day” for half of July adds up to a ton," 3 July 2018 On Friday, Netflix dropped a bonus mini-episode of the makeover series, which sees the Fab Five journey to the town of Yass, Australia. Yohana Desta, HWD, "Queer Eye Gifts Fans Bonus Mini-Episode in Yass, Australia," 22 June 2018 Adult bonus: Take a seat at the Lamplight Lounge outdoor bar. Scott Craven, azcentral, "Pixar Pier first look: 5 tips for visiting California Adventure's newest attraction," 21 June 2018 Poe, a two-time Pro Bowler who was Kansas City’s first-round pick in 2012, can earn $500,000 in bonuses for meeting certain weight goals throughout his three-year, $27 million deal with Carolina. Joseph Person, charlotteobserver, "Panthers' minicamp highlights: Ron Rivera weighs in on Dontari Poe; TE Chris Manhertz carted off," 13 June 2018 Certainly, there are major network-effect bonuses to having large numbers of drivers and riders in the same city. Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, "Will Uber and Lyft Become Different Things?," 7 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bonus.' 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 bonus

1772, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bonus

Latin, literally, good — more at bounty

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Statistics for bonus

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bonus

The first known use of bonus was in 1772

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More Definitions for bonus



English Language Learners Definition of bonus

: something good that is more than what was expected or required

: an extra amount of money that is given to an employee


bo·nus | \ ˈbō-nəs \

Kids Definition of bonus

: something given to someone (as a worker) in addition to what is usual or owed

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Comments on bonus

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


a magnificent or impressive array

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