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3 definitions found

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Ben·e·fit n.
 1. An act of kindness; a favor conferred.
    Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.   --Ps. ciii. 2.
 2. Whatever promotes prosperity and personal happiness, or adds value to property; advantage; profit.
    Men have no right to what is not for their benefit.   --Burke.
 3. A theatrical performance, a concert, or the like, the proceeds of which do not go to the lessee of the theater or to the company, but to some individual actor, or to some charitable use.
 4. Beneficence; liberality. [Obs.]
 5. pl. Natural advantages; endowments; accomplishments. [R.] “The benefits of your own country.”
 Benefit of clergy. Law See under Clergy.
 Syn: -- Profit; service; use; avail. See Advantage.

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Cler·gy n.
 1. The body of men set apart, by due ordination, to the service of God, in the Christian church, in distinction from the laity; in England, usually restricted to the ministers of the Established Church.
 2. Learning; also, a learned profession. [Obs.]
    Sophictry . . . rhetoric, and other cleargy.   --Guy of Warwick.
    Put their second sons to learn some clergy.   --State Papers (1515).
 3. The privilege or benefit of clergy.
    If convicted of a clergyable felony, he is entitled equally to his clergy after as before conviction.   --Blackstone.
 Benefit of clergy Eng., Law, the exemption of the persons of clergymen from criminal process before a secular judge -- a privilege which was extended to all who could read, such persons being, in the eye of the law, clerici, or clerks. This privilege was abridged and modified by various statutes, and finally abolished in the reign of George IV. (1827).
 Regular clergy, Secular clergy See Regular, n., and Secular, a.
 

From: WordNet (r) 2.0

 benefit of clergy
      n : sanction by a religious rite; "they are living together
          without benefit of clergy"