bo·​nus | \ ˈbō-nəs How to pronounce bonus (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Goodyear's reimbursement of up to $1 million for job creation is based on the company offering an average salary of $48,514, including overtime and bonuses, and paying at least 65% of employee health-care premiums. Joshua Bowling, azcentral, "After Gov. Ducey's Twitter rant, what's next for the planned Nike plant in Goodyear?," 2 July 2019 At the age of twenty-six, Hunter, who was earning more than a hundred thousand dollars and had received a signing bonus, was making nearly as much money as his father. Adam Entous, The New Yorker, "Will Hunter Biden Jeopardize His Father’s Campaign?," 1 July 2019 Here's the breakdown of each year of his contract: Year 1, $3.9M salary plus a $2M signing bonus; Year 2, $5.9M salary; Year 3, $7.1M salary; Year 4, $5.9M salary; Years 5-8, $5.6M salary each season. Charlotte Carroll,, "NHL Rumors: Colorado Trades Carl Soderberg to Arizona," 25 June 2019 And — bonus! — lot of them are within an hour’s drive of Orlando. Patrick Connolly,, "Florida Springs Guide: Rock Springs at Kelly Park," 21 June 2019 And there’s a bonus: The revenue generated by the taxes in both cities - which is about a penny or two per ounce of sweet drink - is invested in school nutrition programs and preventive health services. Cara Rosenbloom, Houston Chronicle, "While companies push sugary beverages, parents should promote water. Here’s how.," 19 June 2019 By 2010, Shanahan was earning more than $935,000 annually in salary and bonuses, court records show. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Shanahan withdraws, addresses violent incidents," 18 June 2019 As a huge bonus, directly next door to Mountain Village is the Lake Estes Marina, which offers many watersport activities and watercraft rentals. Kelli Williams, The Denver Post, "Live the ultimate resort lifestyle at Mountain Village at Lake Estes," 13 June 2019 Added bonus: cannolis and other bakery items for dessert. Michael Mayo,, "Publix subs are good (but not with chicken tenders). These are better. Our critic rates local sub shops.," 13 June 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of bonus

1759, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bonus

Latin, literally, good — more at bounty

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bonus

Statistics for bonus

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bonus

The first known use of bonus was in 1759

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce bonus (audio) \

Kids Definition of bonus

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on bonus

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bonus

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bonus

Spanish Central: Translation of bonus

Nglish: Translation of bonus for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bonus for Arabic Speakers

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).


food or victuals

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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