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benefit

[ben-uh-fit]
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noun
  1. something that is advantageous or good; an advantage: He explained the benefits of public ownership of the postal system.
  2. a payment or gift, as one made to help someone or given by an employer, an insurance company, or a public agency: The company offers its employees a pension plan, free health insurance, and other benefits.
  3. a theatrical performance or other public entertainment to raise money for a charitable organization or cause.
  4. Archaic. an act of kindness; good deed; benefaction.
verb (used with object), ben·e·fit·ed or ben·e·fit·ted, ben·e·fit·ing or ben·e·fit·ting.
  1. to do good to; be of service to: a health program to benefit everyone.
verb (used without object), ben·e·fit·ed or ben·e·fit·ted, ben·e·fit·ing or ben·e·fit·ting.
  1. to derive benefit or advantage; profit; make improvement: He has never benefited from all that experience.
Idioms
  1. for (someone's) benefit, so as to produce a desired effect in another's mind: He wasn't really angry; that was just an act for his girlfriend's benefit.

Origin of benefit

1350–1400; late Middle English benefytt, benefett (noun), alteration (with Latinized first syllable) of Middle English b(i)enfet, benefait < Anglo-French benfet, Middle French bienfait < Latin benefactum good deed; see bene-, fact
Related formsben·e·fit·er, ben·e·fit·ter, nounpre·ben·e·fit, verb, pre·ben·e·fit·ed or pre·ben·e·fit·ted, pre·ben·e·fit·ing or pre·ben·e·fit·ting.self-ben·e·fit, nounself-ben·e·fit·ing, self-ben·e·fit·ting, adjectivesu·per·ben·e·fit, nounun·ben·e·fit·ed, un·ben·e·fit·ted, adjectiveun·ben·e·fit·ing, un·ben·e·fit·ting, adjective

Synonyms

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1. favor, service.

Synonym study

1. See advantage.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for benefit

benefit

noun
  1. something that improves or promotes
  2. advantage or sakethis is for your benefit
  3. British
    1. an allowance paid by the government as for sickness, unemployment, etc, to which a person is entitled under social security or the national insurance scheme
    2. any similar allowance in various other countries
  4. (sometimes plural) a payment or series of payments made by an institution, such as an insurance company or trade union, to a person who is ill, unemployed, etc
  5. a theatrical performance, sports event, etc, to raise money for a charity
verb -fits, -fiting or -fited or esp US -fits, -fitting or -fitted
  1. to do or receive good; profit

Word Origin

C14: from Anglo-French benfet, from Latin benefactum, from bene facere to do well
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

Word Origin and History for benefit

n.

late 14c., "good or noble deed," also "advantage, profit," from Anglo-French benfet "well-done," from Latin benefactum "good deed," from bene facere (see benefactor). Meaning "performance or entertainment to raise money for some charitable cause" is from 1680s.

v.

late 15c., from benefit (n.). Related: Benefited; benefiting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with benefit

benefit

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.