• synonyms


See more synonyms for benefice on Thesaurus.com
  1. a position or post granted to an ecclesiastic that guarantees a fixed amount of property or income.
  2. the revenue itself.
  3. the equivalent of a fief in the early Middle Ages.
Show More
verb (used with object), ben·e·ficed, ben·e·fic·ing.
  1. to invest with a benefice or ecclesiastical living.
Show More

Origin of benefice

1300–50; Middle English < Middle French < Latin beneficium service, kindness (benefic(us) benefic + -ium -ium)
Related formsnon·ben·e·ficed, adjectiveun·ben·e·ficed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for benefice

district, bishopric, jurisdiction, see, benefice, prelacy, episcopate, parsonage, vicarage, manse, presbytery

Examples from the Web for benefice

Historical Examples of benefice

  • And he has often commissioned his Almoner to find a benefice for me.

    Erasmus and the Age of Reformation

    Johan Huizinga

  • They could not have told on which benefice to reside, for they held many.

  • His prayers for a benefice are sometimes grave and sometimes comic, but never-failing.

    Royal Edinburgh

    Margaret Oliphant

  • Mr. Griffiths was speedily released and restored to his benefice.

    Sir Christopher Wren

    Lucy Phillimore

  • If he is a clergyman, he shall be deposed from his office and deprived of every benefice.

British Dictionary definitions for benefice


  1. Christianity an endowed Church office yielding an income to its holder; a Church living
  2. the property or revenue attached to such an office
  3. (in feudal society) a tenement (piece of land) held by a vassal from a landowner on easy terms or free, esp in return for military supportSee also vassalage
Show More
  1. (tr) to provide with a benefice
Show More

Word Origin for benefice

C14: from Old French, from Latin beneficium benefit, from beneficus, from bene well + facere to do
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 benefice


c.1300, "a church living," from Old French benefice (13c.) and directly from Latin beneficium "a favor, service, generosity, kindness, benefit," from beneficus "generous, kind, benevolent, obliging," from bene- (see bene-) + -ficus, from stem of -ficere, unstressed form of facere "to do, to make" (see factitious).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper