General English


  • verb to make better or to improve


  • noun payments which are made to someone under a national or private insurance scheme
  • noun something of value given to an employee in addition to their salary


  • noun a system, used in the UK, of providing a one-off lump sum of money to a professional cricketer in recognition of long service. Benefits were formerly awarded to players who were on the verge of retirement after a long career with their county, and the bulk of the money they received came from the proceeds of a single home county match of their own choosing (the benefit match). Since World War Two, however, it has become common practice for players to be given a benefit ten years after being capped by their counties, and in rare cases a player may have two benefits in the course of a career. The significance of the benefit match itself as a source of income has steadily declined as county gates have fallen, and the emphasis has switched to modern, professional fund-raising methods spread over the whole of a player’s benefit season, such as raffles, special games against local clubs, social events, merchandising, and even celebrity golf matches.

Health Economics

  • (written as Benefit)
    The gains, before costs are deducted, of any particular course of action, therapy, treatment, preventive programme, etc. In standard welfare economics, these gains are to be valued by the total amount that individuals are willing to pay to acquire them (including any externally affected individuals who may not be the direct beneficiaries), or the minimum amount they required to relinquish those they already enjoy. However, individuals are frequently extremely uninformed about what an intervention might do (or even has done) for them, in which case their ability to value it is inherently limited. Moreover, since willingness and ability to pay are often correlated (and these are in turn correlated with health status) many economists are reluctant to attach any significance to individuals' willingness to pay, even if the individuals in question are well informed, though in principle, weighting systems might be adopted to compensate for unequal abilities to pay. Similarly, in principle, weights might be applied to different individuals when adding benefits accruing to different persons. In practice, due to the difficulties inherent in undertaking these tasks, health benefits are left in non-monetized form, especially in extra-welfarism, under which health maximization is commonly taken as a proximate social maximand for the health care sector. Partly because of these difficulties and partly because of the stated objectives of health policy in many jurisdictions, many health economists have directed their energies to the development of direct measures of health without seeking also to assess its monetary value. These factors also doubtless account for the popularity of cost-effectiveness, cost-utility and cost-consequences analyses.


  • financial help given by the state to people with particular personal circumstances
  • noun money or advantage gained from something
  • noun an advantage given to an employee in addition to basic salary, e.g. gym membership, parking, health insurance etc.


  • noun the way in which a product or service will improve the quality of life of the purchaser, as opposed to ‘features’ which highlight the particular important aspects of the product or service itself


  • noun a regular payment made to someone under a national or private insurance scheme


  • noun something that has a good effect or promotes wellbeing


  • A special performance of a play in which the night's receiptsgo to an actor or theatrical personality (often ill or retiring) orto a charity or other worthy cause. Benefits were first introducedin the 17th century, with the proceeds generally going to an actor,playwright, or member of the staff. The first English recipient wasthe actress Elizabeth Barry in 1687. David Garrick donated all ofthe proceeds from his last appearance in 1776 to his fund for destituteactors. Most modern benefits are for registered charities or worldwiderelief efforts. In 1991 Covent Garden held a special benefit for theballet star, dame Margot Fonteyn, who was destitute and sufferingfrom cancer. see also bespeak performance.

Origin & History of “benefit”

The element bene- occurs in a wide variety of English words. It comes from Latin bene ‘well’, a close relative of Latin bonus ‘good’. Amongst its combinations are benediction (15th c.), literally ‘saying well’, hence ‘blessing’, benefaction ‘doing well’ (17th c.), and benevolent ‘wishing well’ (15th c.). Benefit is related to benefaction, since it too comes ultimately from Latin bene facere, but it took a more indirect route to English, from Latin benefactum ‘good deed’ via Old French bienfait and Anglo-Norman benfet.