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ben·e·fit / ˈbenəfit/ • n. 1. an advantage or profit gained from something: tenants bought their houses with the benefit of a discount enjoy the benefits of being a member. 2. a payment or gift made by an employer, the state, or an insurance company: welfare benefits wages and benefits. 3. a public performance or other entertainment of which the proceeds go to a particular charitable cause. • v. (-fit·ed, -fit·ing or -fit·ted, -fit·ting) [intr.] receive an advantage; profit; gain: areas that would benefit from regeneration. ∎  [tr.] bring advantage to: the bill will benefit the nation. PHRASES: benefit of clergy ecclesiastical sanction or approval: they lived together without benefit of clergy. 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. for the benefit of 1. in order to help, guide, or be of service to: a man who has spent his life fighting evil for the benefit of the community. 2. in order to interest or impress someone: it was all an act put on for his benefit. give someone the benefit of often ironic explain or recount to someone at length: the whole assembly was given the benefit of his opinions. 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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benefit †good or kind deed XIV; advantage XV. ME. ben(e)fet — AN. benfet, OF. bienfet, -fait :- L. benefactum good deed, f. bene facere do well.
Hence benefit vb. XVI.