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[ben-uh-fish-ee-er-ee, -fish-uh-ree] /ˌbɛn əˈfɪʃ iˌɛr i, -ˈfɪʃ ə ri/
noun, plural beneficiaries.
a person or group that receives benefits, profits, or advantages.
a person designated as the recipient of funds or other property under a will, trust, insurance policy, etc.
Ecclesiastical. the holder of a benefice.
Origin of beneficiary
1605-15; < Latin beneficiārius, equivalent to benefici(um) benefice + -ārius -ary
Related forms
prebeneficiary, noun, plural prebeneficiaries. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for beneficiary
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Why, then, should privileges be conceded to one beneficiary which are denied to all others?

    The Railroad Question William Larrabee
  • And to give help you must, first of all, ‘inquire within’—within your beneficiary.

    Dr. Sevier George W. Cable
  • It did not intoxicate, but still further sobered, the beneficiary.

    The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte William Milligan Sloane
  • The beneficiary was also to carry the sick man to a doctor and to pay all of his debts.

  • And at last a third newspaper announced the name of the beneficiary of the playH.

    Old Mole Gilbert Cannan
British Dictionary definitions for beneficiary


noun (pl) -ciaries
a person who gains or benefits in some way from something
(law) a person entitled to receive funds or other property under a trust, will, or insurance policy
the holder of an ecclesiastical or other benefice
(NZ) a person who receives government assistance: social security beneficiary
of or relating to a benefice or the holder of a benefice
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
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Word Origin and History for beneficiary

1610s (n.), 1620s (adj.), probably via French bénéficiaire, from Latin beneficiarius "enjoying a favor, privileged," from beneficium (see benefice).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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beneficiary in Culture
beneficiary [(ben-uh-fish-ee-er-ee, ben-uh-fish-uh-ree)]

The recipient of funds, property, or other benefits from an insurance policy, will, trust, or other settlement.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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