[ben-uh-fish-ee-er-ee, -fish-uh-ree]

noun, plural ben·e·fi·ci·ar·ies.

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 formspre·ben·e·fi·ci·ar·y, noun, plural pre·ben·e·fi·ci·ar·ies. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for beneficiary

Contemporary Examples of beneficiary

Historical Examples of beneficiary

  • 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 plural -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 assistancesocial 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

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

beneficiary in Culture


[(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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.