Definitions

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

  • adj. Producing or promoting a favorable result; advantageous.
  • adj. Law Receiving or having the right to receive proceeds or other advantages.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Helpful or good to something or someone.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Conferring benefits; useful; profitable; helpful; advantageous; serviceable; contributing to a valuable end; -- followed by to.
  • adj. Receiving, or entitled to have or receive, advantage, use, or benefit.
  • adj. King.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Contributing to a valuable end; conferring benefit; advantageous; profitable; useful; helpful.
  • Having or conferring the right to the use or benefit, as of property; pertaining or entitled to the usufruet: as, a beneficial owner (which see, below); a beneficial interest in an estate.
  • Pertaining to or having a benefice; beneficed.
  • Kind; generous: as, a “beneficial foe,”
  • n. A benefice; a church living.
  • n. In zoology, an animal which benefits man by destroying or checking the increase of animals injurious to him.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. promoting or enhancing well-being

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French beneficial, from Late Latin beneficiālis, from Latin beneficium, benefit; see benefice.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Late Latin beneficiālis ("beneficial"), from Latin beneficium ("benefit, favor, kindness"). (Wiktionary)

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