Definitions for: Benefice

[n] an endowed church office giving income to its holder
[v] endow with a benefice

Webster (1913) Definition: Ben"e*fice, n. [F. b['e]n['e]fice, L. beneficium, a
kindness, in LL. a grant of an estate, fr. L. beneficus
beneficent; bene well + facere to do. See Benefit.]
1. A favor or benefit. [Obs.] --Baxter.

2. (Feudal Law) An estate in lands; a fief.

Note: Such an estate was granted at first for life only, and
held on the mere good pleasure of the donor; but
afterward, becoming hereditary, it received the
appellation of fief, and the term benefice became
appropriated to church livings.

3. An ecclesiastical living and church preferment, as in the
Church of England; a church endowed with a revenue for the
maintenance of divine service. See Advowson.

Note: All church preferments are called benefices, except
bishoprics, which are called dignities. But,
ordinarily, the term dignity is applied to bishoprics,
deaneries, archdeaconries, and prebendaryships;
benefice to parsonages, vicarages, and donatives.

Ben"e*fice, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Beneficed.]
To endow with a benefice.

Note: [Commonly in the past participle.]

Synonyms: ecclesiastical benefice

See Also: church property, dower, endow, sinecure, spirituality, spiritualty

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