Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Utility, advantage, or self-interest considered as the determinant of value or motivation.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun For whose benefit? popularly, but incorrectly, for what use or end?

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • Lit., for whose benefit; incorrectly understood, it came to be used in the sense, of what good or use; and hence, (what) purpose; object; specif., the ultimate object of life.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The principle that the ultimate initiator of an action is likely he who stands to gain from the action.

Etymologies

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

[From Latin cui bonō (est), for whom (it is) of advantage : cui, dative of quī, who + bonō, dative of bonum, advantage.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin cui est bono? ("To whom is it a benefit?")

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • JM contemplates his status update and the niggling phrase 'cui bono' keeps coming to mind

    February 1, 2010

  • Literally, "with benefit to whom" (Latin).

    February 28, 2014