American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Ecclesiastical A church office endowed with fixed capital assets that provide a living.
- n. Ecclesiastical The revenue from such assets.
- n. A landed estate granted in feudal tenure.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In feudal law, originally, a fee or an estate in lands granted for life only, and held ex mero beneficio (on the mere good pleasure) of the donor. Such estates afterward becoming hereditary, the word feud was used for grants to individuals, and benefice became restricted to church livings.
- n. An ecclesiastical living; a church office endowed with a revenue for its proper fulfilment; the revenue itself. The following terms of canon law are frequently found associated with this word, which is of historical importance: A benefice involving no other obligation than service in the public offices of the church is simple; if the cure of souls is attached to it, double; if with a certain rank attached, dignitary or major; the two former without rank, minor. Thus, a chantry was a simple benefice; a prebend gives the right to only a part of the income of a canonry attached to a collegiate or cathedral church; while the benefice is perpetual and has a charge, though there are some (called
manual, from their being in the hands of the one conferring them) revocable. The benefice is said to be regular if held by one qualified to fulfil the duties of the office; secular if held by a layman; and in commendam when in the charge of one commended by the proper authorities until one duly qualified to fulfil its duties is appointed. In the last-named case the discharge of the office is provided for at the expense of the holder. (See abbé.) A benefice is received by election, for example, by a chapter, or from a patron, who is properly said to present to it, or is conferred by the proper ecclesiastical superior; these nominations, in the Roman Catholic Church, regularly need confirmation from the pope. His action may cause a benefice to be reserved or affected (which see); or the collation is made alternative, that is, to the pope and regular patron or superior, according to the months in which the benefice falls vacant, by definite system.
- n. Benefit.
- To endow or invest with a benefice.
- n. Land granted to a priest in a church that has a source of income attached to it.
- v. To bestow a benefice upon
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. obsolete A favor or benefit.
- n. (Feudal Law) An estate in lands; a fief.
- n. An ecclesiastical living and church preferment, as in the Church of England; a church endowed with a revenue for the maintenance of divine service. See Advowson.
- v. To endow with a benefice.
- n. an endowed church office giving income to its holder
- v. endow with a benefice
- From Old French benefice, from Latin beneficium. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old French, from Latin beneficium, benefit, from beneficus, benefic; see benefic. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Huity to J.S. until he be promoted to a competent benefice, and 251. at the time of the grant he was but a mean perfon, and afterward is made an arch-deacon, yet if 1 offer him a competent benefice* according to his eftate at the time of the grant, the annuity doth ceafe.”
Internet Archive: Reports of Sir George Croke, knight. Formerly one of the justices of the courts of Kings-bench, and common-pleas, of such select cases as were adjudged in the said courts [1582-1641]
“Popularly the term benefice is often understood to denote either certain property destined for the support of ministers of religion, or a spiritual office or function, such as the care of souls, but in the strict sense it signifies a right, i.e. the right given permanently by the Church to a cleric to receive ecclesiastical revenues on account of the performance of some spiritual service.”
“Since the usufruct allowed to clerics resembled the grants of land which sovereigns were accustomed to make to subjects who had distinguished themselves by military or political service, and which the Church was at times compelled to concede to powerful lay lords in order to secure necessary protection in troubled times, it was natural that the term benefice, which had been applied to these grants, should be employed to denote the similar practice in regard to ecclesiastics.”
“How to keep your independence and yet benefice from the general publishing world.”
“As a young priest he obtained a rich benefice from the Archbishop of Braga and proceeded to go on pilgrimage, leaving the benefice in the care of a nephew.”
“Each ecclesiastic, be he bishop, abbot, or priest, had right to a benefice, that is, to the revenue of a parcel of land attached to his post.”
“Hawthorn-Grove Rector; Sir Charles Conway having already secured to him the next presentation to that benefice, which is, it seems, nearly the same in value, but which he would prefer, as he thinks it would be more pleasant to you to live near Lady Conway elect.”
“The benefice was a very plentiful one, and placed at his disposal annually a sum of at least eight hundred dollars, of which the eighth part was more than sufficient to defray the expenses of his house and himself; the rest was devoted entirely to the purest acts of charity.”
“Where the benefice was a vicarage an oath to reside upon his cure was in every case rigorously imposed upon the newly-appointed; and though the law did not sanction this in the case of rectors, yet not a single instance of a licence of non-residence occurs; the difficulty of finding substitutes was becoming daily more and more insuperable, and the penalty of deserting a parish without licence was a great deal too serious to be disregarded.”
“Pkbania is another kind of benefice, and of greater circuit than a reftory; it hath under it certain chapels, and this Pkbaniay or digniias plebeia is faid to be a. church dignity, by interpreters.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘benefice’.
A list of words that are odd or words that I have looked up.
List of words from phrontistery.info
"Luciferous Logolepsy is a collection of over 9,000 obscure English words. Though the definition of an 'English' word might seem to be straightforward, it is not. There exist so many adopted, deriv...
Words from the book 'Tale of two cities'
Shamelessly ripped off from this site and others (to be named hereinafter). (Fair warning: for my own edification, I may add definitions/comments from the site, but you might want to just go there ...
put words in their place
Looking for tweets for benefice.