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1 : the part of corporate net earnings distributed usually periodically (as quarterly) to stockholders in the form of cash, additional shares, or property either as a set amount per share or a percentage of par value
: a benefit (as unreasonable compensation or use of corporate property) or transfer of funds from a corporation to a shareholder that is interpreted by a taxing authority as a dividend
: a dividend distributed to preferred stockholders that is added to and paid with the next payment or future payments if not paid when due
: a dividend declared in addition to a regular dividend because of unanticipated profits or a nonrecurring increase of revenue
2 : a share of the surplus earnings of a mutual insurance company paid to policyholders either in the form of cash disbursements or through reduction of premiums
3 : a payment disbursed to investors from the income of a mutual fund
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.