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[boh-nuh s] /ˈboʊ nəs/
noun, plural bonuses.
something given or paid over and above what is due.
a sum of money granted or given to an employee, a returned soldier, etc., in addition to regular pay, usually in appreciation for work done, length of service, accumulated favors, etc.
something free, as an extra dividend, given by a corporation to a purchaser of its securities.
a premium paid for a loan, contract, etc.
something extra or additional given freely:
Every purchaser of a pound of coffee received a box of cookies as a bonus.
Origin of bonus
1765-75; < Latin: good
1. reward, honorarium, gift. 2. Bonus, bounty, premium refer to something extra beyond a stipulated payment. A bonus is a gift to reward performance, paid either by a private employer or by a government: a bonus based on salary; a soldiers' bonus. A bounty is a public aid or reward offered to stimulate interest in a specific purpose or undertaking and to encourage performance: a bounty for killing wolves. A premium is usually something additional given as an inducement to buy, produce, or the like: a premium received with a magazine subscription. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for bonus
  • But the otherwise unremarkable experiment yielded an unexpected bonus.
  • After an enemy dies off, you can set your crew of soldiers to eating their corpse to get bonus items and extra health.
  • That's a big bonus for the hardcore geek with lots of extra hardware to support.
  • Workers would think of the provisional bonus as theirs, and work harder to prevent it from being taken away.
  • And we're adding value with bonus information and a much bolder design.
  • And starting next year, those with the best scores will be eligible for bonus funds.
  • Click ahead for the plan and a closer look at each outdoor bonus space.
  • To avoid this they paid the reps a salary plus bonus.
  • Commemorative edition features two hours of bonus programs.
  • bonus point: the materials needed for the device are cheap and easily available.
British Dictionary definitions for bonus


something given, paid, or received above what is due or expected: a Christmas bonus for all employees
(mainly Brit) an extra dividend allotted to shareholders out of profits
(insurance, Brit) a dividend, esp a percentage of net profits, distributed to policyholders either annually or when the policy matures
(Brit) a slang word for a bribe
Word Origin
C18: from Latin bonus (adj) good
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 bonus

1773, "Stock Exchange Latin" [Weekley], from Latin bonus "good" (adj.); see bene-. The correct noun form would be bonum. In U.S. history the bonus army was tens of thousands of World War I veterans and followers who marched on Washington, D.C., in 1932 demanding early redemption of their service bonus certificates (which carried a maximum value of $625).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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