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[boun-tee] /ˈbaʊn ti/
noun, plural bounties.
a premium or reward, especially one offered by a government:
There was a bounty on his head. Some states offer a bounty for dead coyotes.
a generous gift.
generosity in giving.
Origin of bounty
1200-50; Middle English b(o)unte < Anglo-French, Old French bonte, Old French bontet < Latin bonitāt- (stem of bonitās) goodness. See boon2, -ity
Related forms
bountyless, adjective
1. See bonus. 2. present, benefaction. 3. munificence, liberality, charity, beneficence. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for bounty
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This bounty to continue for the first twelve years of the law.

    Manual of Ship Subsidies Edwin M. Bacon
  • If I succeed in this I shall doubtless be able to seize more of His bounty.

  • Consider that toward one's friends the mind sends forth thoughts that are almoners of bounty and angels of mercy.

    A Man's Value to Society Newell Dwight Hillis
  • He was the complete idler, living on his Uncle's bounty, and making no return for it.

    The Foolish Lovers St. John G. Ervine
  • The Indians alone appreciate this portion of Nature's bounty and celebrate the harvest home with dancing and feasting.

    Steep Trails John Muir
British Dictionary definitions for bounty


noun (pl) -ties
generosity in giving to others; liberality
a generous gift; something freely provided
a payment made by a government, as, formerly, to a sailor on enlisting or to a soldier after a campaign
any reward or premium: a bounty of 20p for every rat killed
Word Origin
C13 (in the sense: goodness): from Old French bontet, from Latin bonitās goodness, from bonus good


a British naval ship commanded by Captain William Bligh, which was on a scientific voyage in 1789 between Tahiti and the West Indies when her crew mutinied
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bounty

mid-13c., "generosity," from Old French bonte "goodness" (12c., Modern French bonté), from Latin bonitatem (nominative bonitas) "goodness," from bonus "good" (see bene-). Sense of "gift bestowed by a sovereign or the state" led to extended senses of "gratuity to a military recruit" (1702) and "reward for killing or taking a criminal or enemy" (1764).

I do ... promise, that there shall be paid ... the following several and respective premiums and Bounties for the prisoners and Scalps of the Enemy Indians that shall be taken or killed .... ["Papers of the Governor of Pennsylvania," 1764]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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