What is Benefice?

Legal Definition
A benefice /ˈbɛnɪfɪs/ is a reward received in exchange for services rendered and as a retainer for future services. The Roman Empire used the Latin term beneficium as a benefit to an individual from the Empire for services rendered. Its use was adopted by the western church in the Carolingian Era as a benefit bestowed by the crown or church officials. A benefice specifically from a church is called a precaria (pl. precarii) such as a stipend and one from a monarch or nobleman is usually called a fief. A benefice is distinct from an allod, in that an allod is property owned outright, not bestowed by a higher authority.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
Eccles. law. In its most extended sense, any ecclesiastical preferment or dignity; but in its more limited sense, it is applied only to rectories and vicarages.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
In ecclesiastical law. In Its technical sense, this term includes ecclesiastical preferments to which rank or public office is attached, otherwise described as ecclesiastical dignities or officos, such as bishoprics, deaneries, and the like; but in popular acceptation, it is almost invariably appropriated to rectories, vicarages, perpetual curacies, district churches, and endowed chapelries. 3 Steph. Comm. 77. "Benefice" is a term derived from the feudal law, in which it signified a permanent stipendiary estate, or an estate held by feudal tenure, 8 Steph. Comm. 77, note, i; 4 Bl. Comm. 107.
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
Fr. In French law. A banefit or advantage, and particularly a privilege given by the law rather than by the agreement of the parties.
See also
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
-- Ballentine's Law Dictionary