Definition of benefit in English:



  • 1An advantage or profit gained from something.

    ‘enjoy the benefits of being a member’
    mass noun ‘the changes are of benefit to commerce’
    • ‘With the benefit of watching the incident on TV, he was able to reach a different interpretation of my actions than he had done in real time.’
    • ‘Every other facility can only be enjoyed with the benefit of good health.’
    • ‘But the report also recognises that its recommendations were made ‘with the benefit of hindsight’.’
    • ‘Woodward is talking with the benefit of experience - not just from his time in coaching, but also from many years as a businessman.’
    • ‘Today, with the benefit of an enormous word-searchable database of court opinions, we can do better.’
    • ‘Here is the chance to enjoy ancient geology with the benefit of modern organisation.’
    • ‘Maybe 10 years from now, with the benefit of better science, we'll decide it was all a false alarm.’
    • ‘Emily Barr wrote a dark, funny novel called Backpack that, with the benefit of Chick Lit packaging, gained huge sales.’
    • ‘Or was there a better solution out there, one that we can now see with the benefit of having hindsight?’
    • ‘With the benefit of clear thinking the men on the field and the mentors on the line conjured, then executed, an unlikely escape plan.’
    • ‘Even a year after the fact, and with the benefit of the best of Western scientific advice, it was still a scene of chaos.’
    • ‘A win in their very first Division One match is a fine achievement, even if it was with the benefit of a vociferous and passionate home crowd.’
    • ‘With the benefit of hindsight, it wasn't the best thing to do.’
    • ‘With the benefit of the elements in the first half, the Leitrim girls made a great start with three points in the first three minutes.’
    • ‘It said the referee had done his best and it was easy with the benefit of sophisticated video technology and hindsight to criticise him.’
    • ‘Another approach is to examine the area thoroughly, with the benefit of informative and informed opinion.’
    • ‘Bishop Foley took an early lead with the benefit of a strong breeze but Gaelscoil battled hard throughout and never gave up.’
    • ‘Looking back with the benefit of hindsight, he said he was surprised that he didn't see anything wrong with the practice at the time.’
    • ‘There are many things we would do differently and handle differently with the benefit of hindsight.’
    • ‘With the benefit of that information in front of her, she confirmed that there was nothing to worry about in the story the previous week.’
    good, sake, interest, welfare, well-being, satisfaction, enjoyment, advantage, comfort, ease, convenience
    advantage, reward, merit, good point, strong point, strength, asset, plus, plus point, bonus, boon, blessing, virtue
    View synonyms
  • 2A payment made by the state or an insurance scheme to someone entitled to receive it.

    ‘part-time jobs supplemented by means-tested benefits’
    mass noun ‘families on benefit’
    • ‘Many people do not redeem them and therefore do not receive the benefits they are entitled to.’
    • ‘Firstly, you should ensure that you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to in your new circumstances.’
    • ‘Refugee mothers don't even get the milk tokens that mothers on benefit are entitled to.’
    • ‘For longer sick leaves, they received benefits from the Social Insurance Institution.’
    • ‘The law provides for private workers to receive pension benefits at retirement like government servants.’
    • ‘This situation in particular refers to people who receive social welfare benefits and old age pension recipients.’
    • ‘In return for more expensive food, urban workers received social welfare benefits and public works in periods of depression.’
    • ‘It includes both wages and employer contributions for benefits and social insurance.’
    • ‘If you have a low income you may be entitled to means-tested benefits which could top up your income.’
    • ‘Deputy Ministers are also entitled to supplementary retirement benefits.’
    • ‘If you are on benefit or have a low income you should check to see if you are entitled to any housing benefit.’
    • ‘They may also, independently of that, receive social security benefits to meet their needs for lost income, or to meet extra care needs.’
    • ‘The workers are demanding increases to wages and pension benefits, having received none since 1997.’
    • ‘As both were unemployed and receiving benefits, they were entitled to recover their travel expenses.’
    • ‘Residents who claim housing and council tax benefits will soon receive a letter telling them about the scheme and how to sign up to it.’
    • ‘There was a tendency to regard grant aid as being similar to social welfare benefits and payments.’
    • ‘The workers are demanding an expansion and prompt payment of welfare benefits to the unemployed.’
    • ‘The workers have not received work benefits and incentive payments agreed to over 12 months ago.’
    • ‘Accordingly, a person who has been granted entry clearance as the spouse of a refugee is entitled to receive such welfare benefits as other immigrants.’
    • ‘Full funding for our courses can be provided for people receiving various social welfare payments or benefits.’
    social security payments, social security, state benefit, unemployment benefit, government benefit, benefit payments, public assistance allowance, welfare, insurance money, sick pay, pension
    View synonyms
  • 3An event such as a concert or game, intended to raise money for a particular player or charity.

    ‘the social season was highlighted by debutante balls and charity benefits’
    as modifier ‘a benefit gig’
    • ‘We see each other at charity benefits mostly, and things like this.’
    • ‘The last time he had seen her all dressed up was over three years ago, it had been for a charity benefit.’
    • ‘Canadian singer Celine Dion sings on Friday at a benefit concert called Quebec / New York in Montreal.’
    • ‘He also has a ‘Heart of Gold’ performing many benefit shows yearly for charity.’
    • ‘It was a benefit to raise money for those with multiple sclerosis.’
    • ‘They already raise funds through benefit gigs in the town and sponsors but are now inviting people to become Friends of the Festival.’
    • ‘His daughter presents a one-off tribute to her dad in a benefit gig for multiple-sclerosis charities.’
    • ‘And the cricket world, with its benefit years, charity quizzes and galas, is quite good at rattling buckets.’
    • ‘The Red Cross also organized a Beijing benefit concert with Chinese pop singers on Thursday to raise more money for tsunami relief.’
    • ‘One of their most recent performances on a larger scale was at the Olympia Theatre in a benefit concert for the Children's Hospital.’
    • ‘An independent record store must sell to the Music Town chain unless its wacky employees can raise enough money through a benefit gig.’
    • ‘The benefit concert was the idea of Glastonbury Festival organiser Michael Eavis, a dairy farmer.’
    • ‘Henry and his band went on a world tour and released a benefit CD to raise money for these three men, one of whom is on death row.’
    • ‘Steven and I spent most of the day at a charity benefit for one of his co-worker's husband.’
    • ‘Rather than attend another benefit gig or charity exhibition, begin at home by doing something practical.’
    • ‘Oakley gave benefits to raise money for these causes, and helped more than 20 young women through college and nursing school.’
    • ‘Before going to Tanzania, Xia will be throwing a benefit concert to raise funds in the third week of April.’
    • ‘The calendar of events commences this Friday night with a benefit concert for the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.’
    • ‘They could very easily put together a benefit gig and raise the money Moo lost.’
    • ‘Many of the gallery artists who wanted to help with the charity benefit donated artwork for the auction.’


[no object]
  • 1Receive an advantage; profit.

    ‘areas that would benefit from regeneration’
    • ‘Hospital patients are to benefit from a more healing environment thanks to a massive cash injection.’
    • ‘She challenged women to take advantage of this opportunity as they stood to benefit from the programme.’
    • ‘At least 65 projects involving 57 organisations will benefit from the cash.’
    • ‘Schoolchildren are to benefit from better sports facilities - thanks to a Lottery cash boost.’
    • ‘Millions of patients who gain weight as a result of taking medication could benefit from research by scientists at Sheffield University.’
    • ‘It seems that some patients needing blood transfusions may benefit from receiving chicken blood rather than human blood.’
    • ‘Rural institutions are less likely to benefit from the advantages offered by information technologies.’
    • ‘The schools themselves will benefit from the extra cash that is ploughed into the fabric of the buildings and training and development of the teachers.’
    • ‘This indicated that treehoppers benefit from ants in ways other than receiving protection from predators.’
    • ‘The money will also be used for small projects which improve quality of life for people in areas which will benefit from the cash.’
    • ‘Churches in Bradford are set to benefit from a cash boost from the region's landfill sites.’
    • ‘The service can only exist on the subscriptions received from households who benefit from the service.’
    • ‘Dozens of vulnerable people are set to benefit from a Government cash award of almost £171,000.’
    • ‘He hoped that the tribals would benefit from the project.’
    • ‘The vast majority of patients who might benefit from it do not receive it.’
    • ‘A side advantage is that your skin will also benefit from the added hydration.’
    • ‘Primary schools and the wider community will also benefit from the cash.’
    • ‘Finalists benefit from the publicity they receive and from the networking opportunities that arise in the course of the year long programme.’
    • ‘To benefit from receiving help, the learner must be an active participant in the learning process.’
    • ‘Preventing people who may benefit from receiving a drug treatment that works will see us lose a decade of progress and return to a dark age of dementia care.’
    profit, gain, reap benefits, reap financial reward, make money
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object Bring advantage to.
      ‘the bill will benefit Britain’
      • ‘Some 29 different policies have been implemented in the Budget that will benefit families in this nation.’
      • ‘It just so happens in this case it also benefits our nation's long-term interests.’
      • ‘How do we ensure that these technologies will benefit the developing nations and the poorest farmers and consumers?’
      • ‘This bill will benefit everyone in society, including the hospitality industry.’
      • ‘But the gap between rich and poor countries still remains large and many critics say that free trade policies are benefitting western nations more than developing countries.’
      • ‘Thanks to the web you can potentially tell millions - and when brands listen, it can bring improvements that benefit everyone.’
      • ‘The healthy competition can only benefit the nation as a whole.’
      • ‘We need to look beyond that and advocate moves which will benefit the entire nation and not just certain individuals.’
      • ‘He has spent his entire political career fighting every significant environmental program that would benefit our nation.’
      • ‘She says it is going to take executives of color to bring about changes to benefit the parity of newsroom diversity.’
      • ‘It is a common-sense bill that will greatly benefit the dairy industry in this country.’
      • ‘These tax changes should encourage those on lower incomes to save, benefiting the whole nation.’
      • ‘Engineering projects benefit the area and bring more people.’
      • ‘Increased economic and trade promotion and cooperation along the border will benefit both nations.’
      • ‘All of the changes in the forthcoming Bill will benefit workers, irrespective of their current circumstances.’
      • ‘Why then should we pay for the Games, which, though located in London, will benefit the nation as a whole?’
      • ‘For now, it will benefit the nation if there are deliberate steps to create as much awareness as possible for this new initiative.’
      • ‘Even the governor admitted in his state of the state address that there was no evidence that the new bill would benefit the economy.’
      • ‘A national cultural policy should therefore be put in place without undue delay to benefit the nation.’
      • ‘She says competitions and opportunities to exhibit and display artistic work benefit the artist and bring enjoyment to people.’
      be advantageous to, be beneficial to, be of advantage to, be to the advantage of, profit, do good to, be of service to, serve, be useful to, be of use to, be helpful to, be of help to, help, aid, assist, be of assistance to
      View synonyms


  • benefit of clergy

    • 1Exemption of the English clergy and nuns from the jurisdiction of the ordinary civil courts, granted in the Middle Ages but abolished in 1827.

      • ‘He was convicted and escaped hanging only by pleading benefit of clergy.’
      • ‘On conviction of a felony the felon was liable to forfeiture of his land and goods (abolished by the Forfeiture Act 1870) and, if Parliament had declared a crime to be a felony without benefit of clergy, the penalty was death.’
      • ‘In England and America, branding on the thumb was a standard non-capital sentence for those granted benefit of clergy after conviction for many crimes such as grand larceny.’
      • ‘Much of this disparity was due to the fact that women could not plead benefit of clergy, a legal fiction that helped a great many male thieves escape with a branding.’
      • ‘In 1598 he killed a fellow actor in a duel, but escaped hanging by pleading benefit of clergy, being branded instead as a felon.’
      • ‘In the 12th cent. the boundaries between royal and ecclesiastical jurisdiction and the extent of benefit of clergy were hotly disputed and contributed much to the conflict between Henry II and Becket.’
    • 2Ecclesiastical sanction.

      ‘they lived together without benefit of clergy’
      • ‘She generally portrayed a successful career woman pursued by a chauvinist (usually Rock Hudson), to whom she eventually decides to give herself without benefit of clergy.’
      • ‘Many poor couples live together, however, without benefit of clergy or legal license.’
      • ‘Dedicating and consecrating, commemorating and celebrating - all these can be done ‘without benefit of clergy.’’
      • ‘Men and women living together and having sexual relations ‘without benefit of clergy,’ as the old phrasing goes, became not merely an accepted lifestyle, but the dominant lifestyle in the under-30 demographic within the past few years.’
  • the benefit of the doubt

    • A concession that a person or fact must be regarded as correct or justified, if the contrary has not been proven.

      ‘I'll give you the benefit of the doubt as to whether it was deliberate or not’
      • ‘I want to give him the benefit of the doubt and accept the fact that he really wants to be treated.’
      • ‘I give him the benefit of the doubt since he is an attorney and not an economist or accountant.’
      • ‘So when we were attacked, we were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.’
      • ‘The judge acquitted other members of her in-laws' family by giving them the benefit of the doubt.’
      • ‘I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and start afresh.’
      • ‘I'll give her the benefit of the doubt and let her try again tomorrow.’
      • ‘All he needs now is for 75% of the policyholders to give him the benefit of the doubt.’
      • ‘The only thing I regret is having given him the benefit of the doubt, which he was later able to use against me.’
      • ‘He's a pretty decent character so I will give him the benefit of the doubt.’
      • ‘I always give folks the benefit of the doubt, but when they have such a track record you have to have these things written into a contract.’
      • ‘Assume the best - unless you have evidence to the contrary, always give your partner the benefit of the doubt.’
      • ‘They could have had very good reasons as why they weren't there and should be given the benefit of the doubt.’
      • ‘They are at the start of a long journey, and must be given the benefit of the doubt.’
      • ‘I think in times like this, we do tend to give the government the benefit of the doubt.’
      • ‘I know that there are a lot of obstacles in our way but shouldn't we get the benefit of the doubt?’
      • ‘It might be foolish of me, but I always give others the benefit of the doubt until it's proven otherwise.’
      • ‘But he said some young people should be given the benefit of the doubt.’
      • ‘I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt and in my view it has never been proved that Glyn did anything wrong.’
      • ‘I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he was confused about how old he was.’
      • ‘In light of his past record, I am happily giving him the benefit of the doubt.’
  • for the benefit of

    • 1In order to help or be useful to.

      ‘a venue run for the benefit of the community’
      • ‘A new building would not be complete if it did not provide the opportunities to work in a much more coordinated way for the benefit of the children.’
      • ‘Conflicts are fought by nation states for the benefit of the state, not the civilisation.’
      • ‘After the sermon a collection was taken up for the benefit of the poor of Chambersburg.’
      • ‘I am a socialist, and have been fighting and will fight for an absolute reconstruction of society for the benefit of all.’
      • ‘Its responsibilities extend far beyond the City boundaries in that it also provides a host of additional facilities for the benefit of the nation.’
      of benefit to, to the advantage of, for the sake of, for the benefit of
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1In order to interest or impress (someone)
        ‘it was all an act put on for his benefit’
        • ‘Paul's whole life is a show; an act put on for the benefit of others so that they will see him in a certain way.’
        • ‘But to keep up appearances, perhaps for the benefit of us tourists, a ridiculous play is acted out.’
        • ‘They appear designed to give a false impression of real concern for him for the benefit of the court and the media.’
        • ‘Does anyone else wonder if the teary eyes were an act, put on for the benefit of the media?’
        • ‘This is not an act put on for the benefit of the media, she's always been the one to put her family first and almost nothing is heard about her love-life.’
        in the interests of, in support of, for, for the benefit of, for the good of, for the sake of, to the advantage of, to the profit of, on account of
        View synonyms


Late Middle English (originally denoting a kind deed or something well done): from Old French bienfet, from Latin benefactum ‘good deed’, from bene facere ‘do good (to)’.