noun, plural bo·nus·es.
- something given or paid over and above what is due.
- a sum of money granted or given to an employee, a returned soldier, etc., in addition to regular pay, usually in appreciation for work done, length of service, accumulated favors, etc.
- something free, as an extra dividend, given by a corporation to a purchaser of its securities.
- a premium paid for a loan, contract, etc.
- something extra or additional given freely: Every purchaser of a pound of coffee received a box of cookies as a bonus.
- something given, paid, or received above what is due or expecteda Christmas bonus for all employees
- mainly British an extra dividend allotted to shareholders out of profits
- insurance, British a dividend, esp a percentage of net profits, distributed to policyholders either annually or when the policy matures
- British a slang word for a bribe
1773, “Stock Exchange Latin” [Weekley], from Latin bonus “good” (adj.); see bene-. The correct noun form would be bonum. In U.S. history the bonus army was tens of thousands of World War I veterans and followers who marched on Washington, D.C., in 1932 demanding early redemption of their service bonus certificates (which carried a maximum value of $625).