ben·​e·​fac·​tor | \ ˈbe-nə-ˌfak-tər How to pronounce benefactor (audio) \

Definition of benefactor

: someone or something that provides help or an advantage : one that confers a benefit a benefactor of humankind especially : a person who makes a gift or bequest His endowments … placed him high among the benefactors of the convent. — Jane Austen a wealthy benefactor

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Did You Know?

A benefactor may be involved in almost any field. One may endow a scholarship fund; another may give money to expand a library; still another may leave a generous sum to a hospital in her will. The famous benefactions of John D. Rockefeller included the gifts that established the University of Chicago, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Rockefeller University. Many benefactors have reported that giving away their money turned out to be the most rewarding thing they ever did.

Examples of benefactor in a Sentence

With the help of a rich benefactor he set up a charity. an anonymous benefactor gave the school a dozen new computers

Recent Examples on the Web

Jon was an avid boater, car collector, traveller and benefactor, generous with his wisdom, his time and his wealth., "Jon T. Lorensen," 29 July 2019 An early benefactor, philanthropist Max Adler, supplied Mr. Rosand with a Stradivarius to play. Neil Genzlinger,, "Aaron Rosand, renowned violinist with a famous fiddle," 20 July 2019 But The New York Times was able to compile a list of more than 1,000 benefactors, from some of the largest to some of the smallest, by searching securities filings and foundation records, along with the N.R.A.’s selective disclosures over the years. Danny Hakim, New York Times, "Beyond the Grave, the N.R.A.’s $56 Million Donor Lives On," 16 July 2019 Even after the end of the Cold War, Beijing has been North Korea's most important ally and main aid benefactor, which many experts say gives it a unique influence on Pyongyang. Fox News, "What to watch for at Kim-Xi summit in North Korea?," 19 June 2019 Running backs Kenyan Drake, entering his fourth season, and Kalen Ballage, entering his second season, could be the early benefactors of O’Shea’s game plan this season. Safid Deen,, "Dolphins’ Chad O’Shea faces the tall task of making Miami’s offense respectable in 2019 | Countdown to camp," 19 July 2019 Fortunately in the sisters' case, a wealthy benefactor offered to cover the costs of their long journey from home in Charsadda, Pakistan, for the surgery at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). Lianne Kolirin, CNN, "Sisters conjoined at the head are separated after 50 hours of surgery," 16 July 2019 Related Articles In Dallas, Perot left his mark by creating the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, helping finance the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, and being a major benefactor of The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. David Koenig, Twin Cities, "Colorful self-made billionaire H. Ross Perot dies at 89," 9 July 2019 Diaz led off the ninth and was the benefactor of Machado’s third error of the series on a ball Diaz might have beat out anyway, considering it was hit up the third base line at just 65.5 mph. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Padres blow pair of 3-run leads, get swept by Pirates," 23 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'benefactor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of benefactor

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for benefactor

Last Updated

16 Aug 2019

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The first known use of benefactor was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of benefactor

: someone who helps another person, group, etc., by giving money


ben·​e·​fac·​tor | \ ˈbe-nə-ˌfak-tər How to pronounce benefactor (audio) \

Kids Definition of benefactor

: someone who helps another especially by giving money

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Comments on benefactor

What made you want to look up benefactor? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


of or relating to the heavens

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