[ ben-uh-fish-uhl ]
/ 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.

Nearby words

  1. benefactrix,
  2. benefic,
  3. benefice,
  4. beneficence,
  5. beneficent,
  6. beneficially,
  7. beneficiary,
  8. beneficiate,
  9. benefit,
  10. benefit in kind

Origin of beneficial

1425–75; late Middle English < Late Latin beneficiālis, equivalent to Latin benefici(um) kindness (see benefice) + -ālis -al1

Related forms
Can be confusedbeneficent beneficial benevolent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for beneficial

British Dictionary definitions for beneficial


/ (ˌbɛnɪˈfɪʃəl) /


(sometimes foll by to) causing a good result; advantageous
law entitling a person to receive the profits or proceeds of propertya beneficial interest in land
Derived Formsbeneficially, adverb

Word Origin for beneficial

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

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