1. Producing or promoting a favorable result; advantageous: a trade agreement beneficial to all countries.
2. Law Involving the receipt of funds, property, or other benefits, as from an insurance policy or trust.
Organisms that are beneficial to a human endeavor, especially insects that are predators of pests.
[Middle English, from Old French beneficial, from Late Latin beneficiālis, from Latin beneficium, benefit; see BENEFICE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.