benefit /ˈbɛnɪfɪt/


I. noun

1. an advantage or profit gained from something

enjoy the benefits of being a member
[ mass noun]
the changes are of benefit to commerce.
2. a 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.
3. an 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.
II. verb [no obj.]

1. receive an advantage; profit

areas that would benefit from regeneration.
2. [with obj.] bring advantage to

the bill will benefit Britain.
III. phrases

1. benefit of clergy
‹historical› exemption of the English clergy and nuns from the jurisdiction of the ordinary civil courts, granted in the Middle Ages but abolished in 1827.
b. ecclesiastical sanction

they lived together without benefit of clergy.
2. 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.
3. for the benefit of
a. in order to help or be useful to

a venue run for the benefit of the community.
b. in order to interest or impress (someone)

it was all an act put on for his benefit.
– origin 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)’.

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