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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
  • These researchers bore alarming news about the ocean's bounty.
  • The foundation might then auction the rights to the bounty to ensure that the vaccinations are performed at the lowest cost.
  • Not so long ago the ocean's bounty seemed to have no limit.
  • All of the pristine lakes in the region yield a bounty of delicious freshwater fish.
  • These sunny giants bring old-fashioned charm and a bounty of edible seeds.
  • There was a time when people believed that the ocean's bounty was unlimited.
  • Instead they slowly gnaw away at their summer bounty throughout the winter.
  • Second: offer a bounty to the world's computer users for every proven violator they turn in.
  • When the seasonal bounty is this gorgeous, it's best to leave well enough alone.
  • And they drew a bounty of letters, laden with readers' prognostications, criticisms and alternative answers.
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
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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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