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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Land granted to a priest in a church that has a source of income attached to it.
  • v. To bestow a benefice upon

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A favor or benefit.
  • n. 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.
  • transitive v. To endow with a benefice.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To endow or invest with a benefice.
  • 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.
  • n. An ecclesiastical living; a church office endowed with a revenue for its proper fulfilment; the revenue itself.
  • n. Benefit.

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

  • n. an endowed church office giving income to its holder
  • v. endow with a benefice


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

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin beneficium, benefit, from beneficus, benefic; see benefic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French benefice, from Latin beneficium.


  • 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.

    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.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 2: Assizes-Browne

  • 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.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 2: Assizes-Browne

  • How to keep your independence and yet benefice from the general publishing world.

    Author 2.0 Survey Results - by Joanna Penn | The Creative Penn

  • 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.

    01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003

  • 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.

    A Political and Social History of Modern Europe V.1.

  • 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.

    Vicissitudes in Genteel Life

  • 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.

    The Bible in Spain

  • 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.

    The Coming of the Friars

  • 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.

    Antient funeral monuments, of Great-Britain, Ireland, and the islands adjacent


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