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

benefit of the doubt

A favorable judgment granted in the absence of full evidence.
See also: benefit, doubt, of