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something that is advantageous or good; an advantage:
He explained the benefits of public ownership of the postal system.
a payment or gift, as one made to help someone or given by an employer, an insurance company, or a public agency:
The company offers its employees a pension plan, free health insurance, and other benefits.
a theatrical performance or other public entertainment to raise money for a charitable organization or cause.
Archaic. an act of kindness; good deed; benefaction.
to do good to; be of service to:
a health program to benefit everyone.
to derive benefit or advantage; profit; make improvement:
He has never benefited from all that experience.
for someone’s benefit, so as to produce a desired effect in another’s mind:
He wasn’t really angry; that was just an act for his girlfriend’s benefit.
Contemporary Examples

Al Qaeda’s Arab Comeback: Capitalizing on Chaos in Syria, Mali Bruce Riedel July 29, 2012
Elite America’s Summer Preschool Madness Eliza Shapiro June 22, 2013
Pawlenty’s Uncourageous Stand Against Ethanol Michael Tomasky May 23, 2011
Zero Dark Thirty and the Senators Michael Tomasky December 12, 2012
A Justice With Boundaries Tunku Varadarajan April 8, 2010

Historical Examples

Interrupted Pansy
The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
A Memorial of Mrs. Margaret Breckinridge Archibald Alexander
An Explanation of Luther’s Small Catechism Joseph Stump
Elusive Isabel Jacques Futrelle

something that improves or promotes
advantage or sake: this is for your benefit

an allowance paid by the government as for sickness, unemployment, etc, to which a person is entitled under social security or the national insurance scheme
any similar allowance in various other countries

(sometimes pl) a payment or series of payments made by an institution, such as an insurance company or trade union, to a person who is ill, unemployed, etc
a theatrical performance, sports event, etc, to raise money for a charity
verb -fits, -fiting, -fited especially (US) -fits, -fitting, -fitted
to do or receive good; profit
see: give the benefit


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  • Benefit of the doubt

    a favorable opinion or judgment adopted despite uncertainty.

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