benefit

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

benefit (plural benefits)

  1. An advantage, help, sake or aid from something.
    It was for her benefit.   His benefit was free beer.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 5, The Celebrity:
      When this conversation was repeated in detail within the hearing of the young woman in question, and undoubtedly for his benefit, Mr. Trevor threw shame to the winds and scandalized the Misses Brewster then and there by proclaiming his father to have been a country storekeeper.
  2. A payment made in accordance with an insurance policy or a public assistance scheme.
  3. A performance, etc, given to raise funds for some cause.
  4. (obsolete) beneficence; liberality
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Webster (1623) to this entry?)

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Verb[edit]

benefit (third-person singular simple present benefits, present participle benefiting or benefitting, simple past and past participle benefited or benefitted)

  1. (transitive) To be or to provide a benefit to.
    • Bible, Jer. xviii. 10
      I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.
  2. (intransitive) To receive a benefit (from); to be a beneficiary.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Benefiting and benefited are more common, with benefitting and benefitted being a minor variant especially in the US.

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Italian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

English

Noun[edit]

benefit m (invariable)

  1. benefit, advantage

Latin[edit]

Verb[edit]

benefit

  1. third-person singular present passive indicative of benefaciō