Benefit of the doubt is a similar notion to “reasonable doubt” which states that in a court case the suspect is considered innocent until proven guilty.
When one gives the “benefit of the doubt” to someone else, one places trust into the other person.
The phrase is connected to “reasonable doubt” used in law to protects people from being innocently convicted.
“Benefit of the doubt” would first show up in 1798 in Irish treason trials.
The current phrasing of the expression developed in the late 1800’s.
“Benefit of the doubt” has been in use all throughout the 20th century in various regions of the Anglosphere.
The expression was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2010.
- Huffpost – When Should You Give Someone ‘The Benefit of the Doubt’?
- Merriam-Webster – The benefit of the doubt