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

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 Rolex shifted gears at this point, focusing on star athlete ambassadors, sporting event sponsorships (particularly tennis, golf, motorsports and yachting), and Rolex upped its role as a benefactor to art and science. Allen Farmelo, Robb Report, 11 May 2024 And Rivian lacks a financial benefactor with bottomless pockets like Lucid has with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, 9 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for benefactor 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'benefactor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near benefactor

Cite this Entry

“Benefactor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: one who helps another especially by giving money

More from Merriam-Webster on benefactor

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!