There are 2 main definitions of bounty in English:

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bounty 1

Pronunciation: /ˈbaʊnti/

noun (plural bounties)

1A sum paid for killing or capturing a person or animal: there was an increased bounty on his head
More example sentences
  • He never took his seat though, rather spending his time in exile with a bounty on his head and a growing conviction that he had a religious mission to save his people, causing many to question his sanity.
  • Luckily, she doesn't have that much screen time as the group tracks a bio-terrorist with a huge bounty on his head.
  • Also, if you will remember I am a bounty hunter and you have quite the bounty on your head.
reward, prize, award, recompense, remuneration, commission, consideration, premium, dividend, bonus, endowment, gratuity, tip, favour, donation, handout;
incentive, inducement;
purse, winnings, money
informal perk, sweetener
formal perquisite
2 historical A sum paid by the state to encourage trade: bounties were paid to colonial producers of indigo dye
More example sentences
  • In November the French began to offer a bounty to encourage shipments, and by the summer of 1789 Philadelphia and New York wheat prices were reaching the high end of their postwar range.
  • The second strand was the payment of export bounties to domestic farmers when the price of grain fell below a certain point.
  • What is clear is that England ceased from about the 1670s to be a net importer of grain and became an exporter; indeed, bounties had to be introduced to ensure that surplus stocks were not hoarded.
2.1A sum paid by the state to army or navy recruits on enlistment: they do not qualify for their bounty because they have spent insufficient time at summer camp
More example sentences
  • Congress approved enlistment bounties totaling $40 for regular recruits plus three months pay in advance and 160 acres of land.
  • For example, why, in that most patriotic of years, was the new U.S. government compelled to lure recruits with promises of bounties, clothing, and land?
  • The 1917 draft law prohibited enlistment bounties and personal substitution, but did authorize deferments on the grounds of dependency or essential work in industry or agriculture.
3 literary Something given or occurring in generous amounts: the bounties of nature
More example sentences
  • Despite the fact that nature has been harsh and cruel to Afghanistan it has been generous in bestowing bounties of sorts.
  • But the little girl understood that she was protected, not only by the woman who held her, but also by the bounty of nature that surrounded her.
  • You can visit it to enjoy the bounties of nature.
3.1 [mass noun] Generosity: for millennia the people along the Nile have depended entirely on its bounty
More example sentences
  • There is love, kindness and bounty in special relationships that bring you much happiness and joy.
  • It affects those who are the beneficiaries of the charity's functions, beneficence and bounty.
  • The 1960s and 1970s brought a loss of faith in the benevolent bounty of science.


Middle English (denoting goodness or generosity): from Old French bonte 'goodness', from Latin bonitas, from bonus 'good'. The sense 'monetary reward' dates from the early 18th century.

  • bonus from late 18th century:

    This was probably originally Stock Exchange slang, coming from Latin bonus ‘good’. Very recently—too recently to get into most dictionaries—the word malus has been recorded for a fine or penalty, based on Latin malus ‘bad’ on the pattern of bonus. The French form of bonus, bon may lie behind the mainly Scottish bonny ‘good, fair’. Bounty (Middle English) goes back to the same source. See also bonanza

Words that rhyme with bounty

county, Mountie
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There are 2 main definitions of bounty in English:

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Bounty 2

Pronunciation: /ˈbaʊnti/
A ship of the British navy on which in 1789 part of the crew, led by Fletcher Christian, mutinied against their commander, William Bligh, and set him adrift in an open boat with eighteen companions.
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