benefit

1 of 2

noun

ben·​e·​fit ˈbe-nə-ˌfit How to pronounce benefit (audio)
1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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

2 of 2

verb

benefited ˈbe-nə-ˌfi-təd How to pronounce benefit (audio) also benefitted; benefiting also benefitting

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
benefiter noun

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
The pair then would keep a portion of the benefits as payment for themselves. USA TODAY, 28 Feb. 2024 The health of the whole cannot be sacrificed for the benefit of a few. Mike Vitek, Forbes, 27 Feb. 2024 This allows a jumpstart on the fun ahead of official hotel check-in at 3:00 p.m. All Disney hotels will receive this benefit, from Value hotels, like Disney’s All-Star Resorts, to Deluxe accommodations, like Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Carly Caramanna, Travel + Leisure, 27 Feb. 2024 Medigap policies are standardized, and there are typically about eight different plans from which a new Medicare enrollee can choose (denoted by letter of the alphabet), all with varying benefits and costs. The Enquirer, 27 Feb. 2024 Signs hang around her taproom listing 15 health benefits of drinking kombucha. Jenna Thompson, Kansas City Star, 27 Feb. 2024 Protein may have big brain benefits, too—even helping protect against cognitive decline. Rachel Murphy, Verywell Health, 27 Feb. 2024 However, multiple sclerosis advocates said the harm imposed on patients outweighs the potential financial benefits. Quinn Clark, Journal Sentinel, 26 Feb. 2024 The new Sublime began in December at a benefit for Bad Brain’s H.R., who’s been battling health issues. Brian Hiatt, Rolling Stone, 15 Feb. 2024
Verb
But on the days surrounding April 8, small communities (such as Lebanon, Indiana) will benefit from their once-in 375-years celestial good fortune as visiting eclipse chasers leave a potential economic boon in the wake of the moon’s shadow. Jamie Carter, Forbes, 28 Feb. 2024 Clinton benefits from Damien’s inside-outside strategy because of 7-footer Nate Garcia. Eric Sondheimer, Los Angeles Times, 28 Feb. 2024 Cajun recipes are often sturdy enough to be scaled up to feed a crowd, or straightforward enough to be cooked outdoors (like a crawfish boil); fancier Creole dishes benefit from a more delicate touch. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 28 Feb. 2024 After all, when unions raise wages, many nonunion workers benefit. Desirée Leclercq, Fortune, 28 Feb. 2024 Part of the proceeds benefits Hilarity for Charity, a nonprofit dedicated to caring for families impacted by Alzheimer’s and supporting research and education. Elizabeth Leonard, Peoplemag, 28 Feb. 2024 All neighborhoods will benefit from Lenka’s professional and personal dedication, knowledge and skills. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, 28 Feb. 2024 The Trump campaign can benefit politically from events in the Middle East and elsewhere, by playing up broader perceptions of turmoil under Biden, according to Republican pollster Robert Blizzard. Tribune News Service, Orange County Register, 27 Feb. 2024 The 904 Now and benefited the Jimmy Jam Community Outreach, a nonprofit that helps local residents in need. Kinsey Crowley, USA TODAY, 27 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'benefit.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French benfet, from Latin bene factum, from neuter of bene factus, past participle of bene facere

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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

Dictionary Entries Near benefit

Cite this Entry

“Benefit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/benefit. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

benefit

1 of 2 noun
ben·​e·​fit ˈben-ə-ˌfit How to pronounce benefit (audio)
1
a
: something that does good to a person or thing
the benefits of fresh air and sunshine
b
: useful aid : help
had to perform without the benefit of a rehearsal
2
a
: money paid at death or when sick, retired, or unemployed (as by an insurance company or public agency)
b
: something (as health insurance or vacation time) provided to a worker by an employer in addition to pay
3
: an entertainment or social event to raise funds for a person or cause

benefit

2 of 2 verb
benefited
-ˌfit-əd
also benefitted; benefiting also benefitting
1
: to be useful or profitable to
medicines that benefit all
2
: to receive benefit
I benefited from the experience
Etymology

Noun

Middle English benefet, benefit "good deed," derived from Latin bene factum (same meaning), from bene factus, past participle of bene facere "to do good," from bene "well" (akin to bonus "good") and facere "to do, make" — related to bonus, fashion

Legal Definition

benefit

noun
ben·​e·​fit
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.

3
a
: 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
benefit verb

More from Merriam-Webster on benefit

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