the benefit of the doubt


Also found in: Acronyms.

the benefit of the doubt

The withholding of judgment so as to retain a favorable or at least neutral opinion of someone or something when the full information about the subject is not yet available. You're my sister! Can't you give me the benefit of the doubt, instead of believing the worst about me? Let's give him the benefit of the doubt before we start accusing him. There may be a good explanation.
See also: benefit, doubt, of

benefit of the doubt

a judgment in one's favor when the evidence is neither for one nor against one. (*Typically: get ~; have ~; give someone ~.) I was right between a B and an A. I got the benefit of the doubtan A. I thought I should have had the benefit of the doubt, but the judge made me pay a fine.
See also: benefit, doubt, of

the benefit of the doubt

a concession that someone or something must be regarded as correct or justified, if the contrary has not been proved.
See also: benefit, doubt, of

benefit of the doubt

A favorable judgment granted in the absence of full evidence.
See also: benefit, doubt, of
References in periodicals archive ?
Pietersen spoke with the air of a batsman who had enjoyed the benefit of the doubt for his entire career until the DRS came along.
And there was me willing to give this dumb blonde the benefit of the doubt.
She added that children whose ages are under dispute should be given the benefit of the doubt.
Jenni, who plays Jessica Harris in the Channel 4 soap has given Rob the benefit of the doubt over his past.
Give your boyfriend the benefit of the doubt, but keep an eye on his actions--which speak louder than words.
Vets are often forced into getting a lawyer when the VA refuses to give them the benefit of the doubt regarding issues like date of injury/claim reported to the VA.
To give him the benefit of the doubt, it may be that Mr Bradbourne has not entirely understood what a city region would do or the important strategic role it would play.
Now, prudent D&O underwriters may no longer be in a position to give companies the benefit of the doubt.
Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford said he was inclined to give Knightley the benefit of the doubt about her comment, saying it might have been an innocent remark that went too far.
He could have given Robbie the benefit of the doubt, but he doesn't get the benefit of the doubt very often.
Please parents, give the teacher the benefit of the doubt.
As Anand told the New York Times after the JAMA controversy broke: "By the second trimester, all bets are off and I would argue that in the absence of absolute proof we should give the fetus the benefit of the doubt if we are going to call ourselves compassionate and humane physicians.
In that situation the benefit of the doubt should surely be given to the victim of the interference.
So, allowing them the benefit of the doubt, I blame them for not stealing the election first.
But the company's excellent track record means investors should give it the benefit of the doubt.