[ ben-uh-fit ]
See synonyms for: benefitbenefitedbenefitingbenefits on

  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.

  1. a theatrical performance or other public entertainment to raise money for a charitable organization or cause.

  2. 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 about benefit

  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

First recorded in 1350–1400; late Middle English noun benefytt, benefett, alteration (with Latinized first syllable) of Middle English b(i)enfet, benefait, from Anglo-French benfet, Middle French bienfait, from Latin benefactum “good deed”; see bene-, fact

Other words for benefit

Other words from benefit

  • ben·e·fit·er, ben·e·fit·ter, noun
  • pre·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, noun
  • self-ben·e·fit·ing, self-ben·e·fit·ting, adjective
  • su·per·ben·e·fit, noun
  • un·ben·e·fit·ed, un·ben·e·fit·ted, adjective
  • un·ben·e·fit·ing, un·ben·e·fit·ting, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use benefit in a sentence

  • And he had no other thought, no idea of self-benefit, when he started off to walk to Upper Brook Street.

British Dictionary definitions for benefit


/ (ˈbɛnɪfɪt) /

  1. something that improves or promotes

  2. advantage or sake: this is for your benefit

  1. British

    • 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

    • any similar allowance in various other countries

  2. (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

  3. 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

Origin of benefit

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with benefit


see give the benefit.

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