Definition of bonus in US English:



  • 1An amount of money added to wages on a seasonal basis, especially as a reward for good performance.

    ‘big Christmas bonuses’
    • ‘The department's figures for 2005 show it has paid about €500,000 in performance bonuses to its most senior civil servants.’
    • ‘The club was also offering the team a far higher bonus for a win.’
    • ‘We pay the players a small win bonus which is the same as it was last year in Division Two.’
    • ‘Asking for a $25 million bonus, a payment equal to 40 percent of his total fees, is another matter.’
    • ‘Cost cuts gave companies more money to pass on to employees in the form of higher wages and bonuses, economists said.’
    • ‘And Burt has a group together that are going to dole out bonuses to the entire team.’
    • ‘I don't get a bonus if she exceeds quarterly projections.’
    • ‘You should reward your more productive employees with merit-based pay, such as bonus or share option schemes, rather than increasing wage rates across the board.’
    • ‘If you perform well, there is the possibility of bonuses and share options.’
    • ‘It is important to recognize that all labor income, even the bonuses and stock options of CEOs, are included in the labor share.’
    • ‘My weekly wage was about £150 and there were performance bonuses.’
    • ‘Some 90% of firms pay annual performance bonuses to their employees.’
    • ‘As public service executives are being investigated in the Sponsorship Program, $36.5 million in performance bonuses paid to them adds insult to injury.’
    • ‘Given a choice between saving jobs and preserving your bonus, the Company expects its leaders to do the right thing.’
    • ‘Irish employers are looking after their senior staff better by giving them generous bonuses and share options.’
    • ‘Workers were paid a form of piece rate, which was a minimum wage plus a bonus for output over a certain level.’
    • ‘Some 230 workers are involved in the dispute and are demanding improvements in basic wages, bonuses and classifications.’
    • ‘The federal government would also reward states with performance bonuses based in part on lower poverty rates.’
    • ‘I believe I mentioned before that my company does yearly bonuses to reward us for our previous year's performance.’
    • ‘The tax figures suggest that companies whose fortunes are tied to the slowing world economy are cutting jobs and curtailing staff bonus payments.’
    extra payment, gratuity, tip, handout, gift, present, honorarium, reward, prize, commission, dividend, premium, percentage
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    1. 1.1Basketball An extra free throw awarded to a fouled player when the opposing team has exceeded the number of team fouls allowed during a period.
      • ‘During the game, players can earn ‘virtual credits’ by defeating other players or earning extra bonuses.’
      • ‘However a player will receive no bonuses at all that turn.’
      • ‘Frequently fouled teams get into the bonus more quickly, and it's nearly impossible to get transition baskets against a team that is shooting free throws.’
    2. 1.2British An extra dividend or issue paid to the shareholders of a company.
      • ‘With-profits providers will be issuing bonuses of 3 per cent or lower next year.’
      • ‘Of course, the essence of the trick in Curran's Case was, by paying out the bonus share dividend, you reduce the value of the original shares.’
      • ‘The effect on Largan might be comparatively smaller, however, as its bonuses are traditionally divided into 30 percent shares and the remainder in cash.’
      • ‘They can decide on how much the terminal bonus or final dividend paid out is.’
      • ‘About 47 per cent of full-year earnings are being paid out as final dividends and bonus shares were issued.’
      • ‘After year 13, reinvested dividends and bonuses would pay for future premium.’
      • ‘There was also discussion about the relative tax efficiency of taking the money out of the company by way of bonuses or dividends.’
      • ‘I believe perks can be a wonderful bonus for shareholders.’
      • ‘It is not exactly disastrous but with bonus payments collapsing over the last three years in line with falling stock markets, so has demand for these products.’
      • ‘The IRS has specified it can't go to bonuses or stockholder dividends.’
      • ‘What the Trustee is after is the shareholder's dividends, bonuses, other payments that result, as a result that come from the share ownership.’
      • ‘They will also receive special share issues and bonuses.’
      • ‘However, the added bonus for shareholders comes in the form of industry consolidation.’
    3. 1.3British A distribution of profits to holders of an insurance policy.
      • ‘There is bad news for millions of homebuyers and savers as with-profits insurance companies make their bonus declarations over the coming weeks.’
      • ‘In the past, profits had been distributed by way of bonuses.’
      • ‘And long-term savers will be waiting to see if the insurer slashes bonuses on with-profits policies or keeps them on hold to reflect recovering markets.’
      • ‘But the company says a standard policy holder with a full bonus making a claim will effectively pay out more than three times their annual premium.’
      • ‘It has cut the final bonuses on its with-profits endowments and pension plans for the second time this year.’
      • ‘As with other insurers, it has a two-tier bonus structure on its endowment policies.’
      • ‘However, as these are with-profits policies, bonuses accrued to date will be small.’
      • ‘It is the latest of the life companies to announce major reductions in the bonuses paid to holders of with-profits savings plans.’
      • ‘To get round the problem, they will probably pay the vast majority of with-profits policy holders their compensation through bonuses to their policies.’
      • ‘The company also cut its bonuses last week by an average 5% for policies maturing after October 1.’
      • ‘Each year the life company declares a bonus or dividend based on the returns from their investment.’
      • ‘They are also entitled to a share of the company's profits which are paid as bonuses on their policies.’
    4. 1.4 Something welcome and often unexpected that accompanies and enhances something that is itself good.
      ‘good weather is an added bonus but the real appeal is the landscape’
      • ‘Several 0% cards charge no interest on both balance transfers and new purchases, which is a double bonus!’
      • ‘Each bottle has been individually numbered and as an added bonus for cricket lovers, it has been signed by some members of India's 1983 World Cup team.’
      • ‘As an added bonus, the CDs aren't that expensive.’
      • ‘And, as an extra added bonus, he can actually do the job.’
      • ‘As an extra bonus these people are also listening for longer.’
      • ‘Having a Swedish manager who managed an Italian team is also a bonus, because he will have better knowledge of more players from across the globe.’
      • ‘And the new legislation, allowing registrars to conduct weddings ‘out of the office’ and in more romantic settings, has been an added bonus.’
      • ‘As an added bonus, the keyboard seems to light up, which I envision will be a boon to struggling typists working in windowless, lightless spaces.’
      • ‘Some knowledge of back pain and back related issues would be a bonus.’
      • ‘The new 100% Proficiency scheme has also brought an added bonus - a rapid reduction in the amount of waste materials during training.’
      • ‘As an added bonus the DVD actually has enough extra content that it can be considered a special edition.’
      • ‘And as an added bonus, many employers will match what you put in - anywhere from 50 to 100 percent.’
      • ‘The home town Ducks won, which was an added bonus.’
      • ‘It would be a welcome bonus for a team that missed the playoffs with an 18-16 record last season.’
      • ‘It has been an added bonus that the new building could be done without disruption to the pupils' education.’
      • ‘Geraldine, who organised the logistics of the trip, said it was what she expected, but the unexpected generosity of people along the way was an added bonus.’
      • ‘If the print supplements also pick up the same stories from the online edition, that is an extra bonus for the party that has placed the paid news.’
      • ‘As an extra bonus, the new children's tax credit has now doubled to £20 a week for the first year of a child's life.’
      • ‘Being commended for her work was an added bonus.’
      • ‘As an added bonus, the southern hemisphere is midway into its summer season, offering warm, comfortable temperatures for vacations this time of year.’
      benefit, advantage, boon, blessing, godsend, stroke of luck, asset, attraction, added attraction, fringe benefit, additional benefit, extra, added extra
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Late 18th century (probably originally Stock Exchange slang): from Latin bonus (masculine) ‘good’, used in place of bonum (neuter) ‘good, good thing’.