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A sum of money or other thing given, generally by the government, to certain persons, for some service they have done or are about to do to the public. As bounty upon the culture of silk; the bounty given to an enlisted soldier; and the like. It differs from a reward which is generally applied to particular cases; and from a payment as there is no contract on the part of the receiver of the bounty.

It was and is sometimes used to describe the payment given to private parties (bounty hunters) who capture criminals and those who kill or remove certain animals believed to be harmful or undesirable such as coyotes, wolves, skunks and politicians.