Definition of bonus in English:


Syllabification: bo·nus
Pronunciation: /ˈbōnəs


1An amount of money added to wages on a seasonal basis, especially as a reward for good performance: big Christmas bonuses
More example sentences
  • The federal government would also reward states with performance bonuses based in part on lower poverty rates.
  • Workers were paid a form of piece rate, which was a minimum wage plus a bonus for output over a certain level.
  • My weekly wage was about £150 and there were performance bonuses.
gratuity, gift, present, reward, prize, lagniappe;
incentive, inducement, handout
informal sweetener
1.1Something welcome and often unexpected that accompanies and enhances something that is itself good: good weather is an added bonus but the real appeal is the landscape
More example sentences
  • Geraldine, who organised the logistics of the trip, said it was what she expected, but the unexpected generosity of people along the way was an added bonus.
  • As an added bonus the DVD actually has enough extra content that it can be considered a special edition.
  • As an added bonus, the southern hemisphere is midway into its summer season, offering warm, comfortable temperatures for vacations this time of year.
1.2 Basketball An extra free throw awarded to a fouled player when the opposing team has exceeded the number of team fouls allowed during a period.
More example sentences
  • Frequently fouled teams get into the bonus more quickly, and it's nearly impossible to get transition baskets against a team that is shooting free throws.
  • During the game, players can earn ‘virtual credits’ by defeating other players or earning extra bonuses.
  • However a player will receive no bonuses at all that turn.
1.3British An extra dividend or issue paid to the shareholders of a company.
More example sentences
  • After year 13, reinvested dividends and bonuses would pay for future premium.
  • What the Trustee is after is the shareholder's dividends, bonuses, other payments that result, as a result that come from the share ownership.
  • I believe perks can be a wonderful bonus for shareholders.
1.4British A distribution of profits to holders of an insurance policy.
More example sentences
  • To get round the problem, they will probably pay the vast majority of with-profits policy holders their compensation through bonuses to their policies.
  • However, as these are with-profits policies, bonuses accrued to date will be small.
  • But the company says a standard policy holder with a full bonus making a claim will effectively pay out more than three times their annual premium.


late 18th century (probably originally London stock-exchange slang): from Latin bonus (masculine) 'good', used in place of bonum (neuter) 'good, good thing'. Compare with boon2.

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