Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Benefit; advantage: using public funds for their own behoof.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Advantage or benefit.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Advantage; profit; benefit; interest; use.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. That which is advantageous to a person; behalf; interest; advantage; profit; benefit.

Etymologies

Middle English bihove, from Old English behōf; see kap- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English behōf from Proto-Germanic *bihōfan, originally a past tense form of *bihafan (“to get, receive”). Akin to Dutch behoef, German Behuf ("necessity"), Danish behov ("requirement") (from Middle Low German). For the verbal root, compare Old English hebban, Gothic 𐌷𐌰𐍆𐌾𐌰𐌽 (hafjan). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • ‘I was hammering at that for months together,’ Bishop recalled, ‘for J.F. Bentley’s behoof.

    Noble Simplicity and the Liturgiologist Edmund Bishop

  • To this exhortation, which seemed intended for her sole behoof, the lady answered by an inclination of her head, more humble than Captain

    A Legend of Montrose

  • It is very true that there is a sum, which, in spite of various expenses, may still approach to a thousand pounds or better, which remains in my hands for your behoof.

    The Surgeon's Daughter

  • “Yes, young man,” said he, releasing the handle of the article in question, retiring a step or two from my table, and speaking for the behoof of the landlord and waiter at the door,

    Great Expectations

  • If I could have supposed that my aunt had recounted these particulars for my especial behoof, and as a piece of confidence in me, I should have felt very much distinguished, and should have augured favourably from such

    David Copperfield

  • Invitation circulars were forwarded to all the principal parishioners, including, of course, the heads of the other two societies, for whose especial behoof and edification the display was intended; and a large audience was confidently anticipated on the occasion.

    Sketches by Boz

  • Nicholas is rather out of his element now; he cannot see the kitchen as he used to in the old House; there, one window of his glass – case opened into the room, and then, for the edification and behoof of more juvenile questioners, he would stand for an hour together, answering deferential questions about Sheridan, and Percival, and Castlereagh, and

    Sketches by Boz

  • This little incident led us to reflect upon the most prominent characteristics of bashful young gentlemen in the abstract; and as this portable volume will be the great text – book of young ladies in all future generations, we record them here for their guidance and behoof.

    Sketches by Boz

  • She delivered it for the behoof of Mr Chick, who was a stout bald gentleman, with a very large face, and his hands continually in his pockets, and who had a tendency in his nature to whistle and hum tunes, which, sensible of the indecorum of such sounds in a house of grief, he was at some pains to repress at present.

    Dombey and Son

  • England, in my own person, in my own journal, to bear, for the behoof of my countrymen, such testimony to the gigantic changes in this country as I have hinted at to-night.

    American Notes for General Circulation

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