Definitions

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

  • n. Something that promotes or enhances well-being; an advantage: The field trip was of great benefit to the students.
  • n. Help; aid.
  • n. A payment made or an entitlement available in accordance with a wage agreement, an insurance policy, or a public assistance program.
  • n. A public entertainment, performance, or social event held to raise funds for a person or cause.
  • n. Archaic A kindly deed.
  • transitive v. To be helpful or useful to.
  • intransitive v. To derive benefit: You will benefit from her good example.
  • idiom benefit of the doubt A favorable judgment granted in the absence of full evidence.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An advantage, help or aid from something.
  • n. A payment made in accordance with an insurance policy or a public assistance scheme.
  • n. A performance, etc, given to raise funds for some cause.
  • v. To be or to provide a benefit to.
  • v. To receive a benefit (from). To be a beneficiary.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An act of kindness; a favor conferred.
  • n. Whatever promotes prosperity and personal happiness, or adds value to property; advantage; profit.
  • n. A theatrical performance, a concert, or the like, the proceeds of which do not go to the lessee of the theater or to the company, but to some individual actor, or to some charitable use.
  • n. Beneficence; liberality.
  • n. Natural advantages; endowments; accomplishments.
  • transitive v. To be beneficial to; to do good to; to advantage; to advance in health or prosperity; to be useful to; to profit.
  • intransitive v. To gain advantage; to make improvement; to profit.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A thing well done; a good deed.
  • n. An act of kindness; a favor conferred; good done to a person.
  • n. Advantage; profit; concretely, anything that is for the good or advantage of a person or thing; a particular kind of good receivable or received.
  • n. Bestowal, as of property, office, etc., out of good will, grace, or favor; liberality; generosity.
  • n. A performance at a theater or other place of public entertainment, the proceeds of which go to one or more of the actors, some indigent or deserving person, some charitable institution, or the like. In Great Britain also called a bespeak.
  • n. A natural advantage; endowment; accomplishment.
  • To do good to; be of service to; advantage: as, exercise benefits health; trade benefits a nation.
  • Same as beneficiate, 2.
  • To gain advantage; make improvement: as, he has benefited by good advice.

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

  • n. financial assistance in time of need
  • n. a performance to raise money for a charitable cause
  • v. derive a benefit from
  • v. be beneficial for
  • n. something that aids or promotes well-being

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French bienfait, good deed, from Latin benefactum, from benefacere, to do a service; see benefaction.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Late Middle English benefytt, benefett, alteration (due to Latin bene-) of Middle English benfet, bienfet, bienfait ("good or noble deed"), from Anglo-Norman benfet ("well-done"), Middle French bienfait, from Old French bienfet, bienfait ("foredeal, favour"), from past participle of Old French bienfaire ("to do good, do well"), from bien ("well") + faire ("to do"), modelled after Latin benefactum ("good deed"). More at benefactor. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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