Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[ben-uh-fish-uh l] /ˌbɛn əˈfɪʃ əl/
conferring benefit; advantageous; helpful:
the beneficial effect of sunshine.
  1. helpful in the meeting of needs:
    a beneficial association.
  2. involving the personal enjoyment of proceeds:
    a beneficial owner.
Origin of beneficial
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < Late Latin beneficiālis, equivalent to Latin benefici(um) kindness (see benefice) + -ālis -al1
Related forms
beneficially, adverb
beneficialness, noun
nonbeneficial, adjective
nonbeneficially, adverb
nonbeneficialness, noun
quasi-beneficial, adjective
quasi-beneficially, adverb
unbeneficial, adjective
unbeneficially, adverb
unbeneficialness, noun
Can be confused
beneficent, beneficial, benevolent.
1. salutary, wholesome, serviceable, useful, favorable, profitable.
1. harmful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for beneficial
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Did I not say just now that lightning has sometimes—though very rarely—exercised a beneficial influence on sick people it strikes?

    Thunder and Lightning Camille Flammarion
  • Often it was employed for useful results and with beneficial effect on useful arts.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • Many of our good citizens have interested themselves, with the most beneficial results, in the question of prison reform.

  • It is beneficial for dyspepsia, gout, rheumatism, and scrofulous diseases.

    Down the Rhine Oliver Optic
  • Unless the soil is moist, a little water put in the hole with the plant is beneficial.

    Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Nature Study Ontario Ministry of Education
British Dictionary definitions for beneficial


(sometimes foll by to) causing a good result; advantageous
(law) entitling a person to receive the profits or proceeds of property: a beneficial interest in land
Derived Forms
beneficially, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Late Latin beneficiālis, from Latin beneficium kindness
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for beneficial

mid-15c., "helpful, advantageous," from Middle French bénéficial and directly from Latin beneficialis "pertaining to a favor," from beneficium (see benefice). Related: Beneficially.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for beneficial

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for beneficial

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for beneficial