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[ben-uh-fish-ee-er-ee, -fish-uh-ree] /ˌbɛn əˈfɪʃ iˌɛr i, -ˈfɪʃ ə ri/
noun, plural beneficiaries.
a person or group that receives benefits, profits, or advantages.
a person designated as the recipient of funds or other property under a will, trust, insurance policy, etc.
Ecclesiastical. the holder of a benefice.
Origin of beneficiary
1605-15; < Latin beneficiārius, equivalent to benefici(um) benefice + -ārius -ary
Related forms
prebeneficiary, noun, plural prebeneficiaries. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for beneficiary
  • Under the current system, caps are set per beneficiary per state.
  • The child is the clear beneficiary.
  • Each beneficiary receives a debit card which is charged up every month .
  • Most married couples have some kind of life insurance, usually on the life of the husband, with the wife named as beneficiary.
  • Each beneficiary would have an annual deductible of $100.
  • He remained throughout his life a grateful beneficiary of the welfare state and of its educational largesse.
  • Nevertheless, he is a beneficiary of this development.
  • McDonald's has been a rare beneficiary of the global downturn, as shoppers around the world switch to lower-priced goods.
  • We made sure our beneficiary designations forms were filled out properly.
  • The money used to establish your beneficiary participant account and the earnings on that money are tax-deferred.
British Dictionary definitions for beneficiary


noun (pl) -ciaries
a person who gains or benefits in some way from something
(law) a person entitled to receive funds or other property under a trust, will, or insurance policy
the holder of an ecclesiastical or other benefice
(NZ) a person who receives government assistance: social security beneficiary
of or relating to a benefice or the holder of a benefice
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 beneficiary

1610s (n.), 1620s (adj.), probably via French bénéficiaire, from Latin beneficiarius "enjoying a favor, privileged," from beneficium (see benefice).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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beneficiary in Culture
beneficiary [(ben-uh-fish-ee-er-ee, ben-uh-fish-uh-ree)]

The recipient of funds, property, or other benefits from an insurance policy, will, trust, or other settlement.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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