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[ben-uh-fish-uh l] /ˌbɛn əˈfɪʃ əl/
conferring benefit; advantageous; helpful:
the beneficial effect of sunshine.
  1. helpful in the meeting of needs:
    a beneficial association.
  2. involving the personal enjoyment of proceeds:
    a beneficial owner.
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < Late Latin beneficiālis, equivalent to Latin benefici(um) kindness (see benefice) + -ālis -al1
Related forms
beneficially, adverb
beneficialness, noun
nonbeneficial, adjective
nonbeneficially, adverb
nonbeneficialness, noun
quasi-beneficial, adjective
quasi-beneficially, adverb
unbeneficial, adjective
unbeneficially, adverb
unbeneficialness, noun
Can be confused
beneficent, beneficial, benevolent.
1. salutary, wholesome, serviceable, useful, favorable, profitable.
1. harmful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for beneficial
  • She thought that regular exercise would be beneficial.
  • Philanthropy and charity only function when they are beneficial to the donor.
  • If you encourage them, birds and beneficial insects will devour many insect pests.
  • If you need harmony and respect in your own life, maybe a cup of carefully prepared and considered green tea will be beneficial.
  • Like many, though, I wondered whether breaking my habit would be entirely beneficial.
  • Ambition is equally as risky as it is beneficial.
  • If you are not on a campus that offers such support, an online writing group might be beneficial to you.
  • Judging from one of the largest surveys of psychotherapy to date, most Americans who try psychotherapy think it is beneficial.
  • Walking is one of the most popular and beneficial exercises.
  • He suggests turning confrontational politics into a mutually beneficial alliance, which he believes both countries are ready for.
British Dictionary definitions for beneficial


(sometimes foll by to) causing a good result; advantageous
(law) entitling a person to receive the profits or proceeds of property: a beneficial interest in land
Derived Forms
beneficially, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Late Latin beneficiālis, from Latin beneficium kindness
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 beneficial

mid-15c., "helpful, advantageous," from Middle French bénéficial and directly from Latin beneficialis "pertaining to a favor," from beneficium (see benefice). Related: Beneficially.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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