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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Murray Energy’s political action committee has been a long-time benefactor of Ohio Republicans, contributing more than $332,000 to the state party, officeholders and candidates since 2014. The Enquirer, "Ohio coal giant Murray Energy is $100K dark money donor ‘Company B’ in federal probe," 31 July 2020 However, Slaton received 89% of his $167,000 in contributions during the period from Dunn, the Empower Texans benefactor who gave him $150,000. Robert T. Garrett, Dallas News, "Empower Texans’ favorite is exception as Gov. Greg Abbott-backed House hopefuls enjoy money edge," 8 July 2020 Or some other emotion that Alexander could not express within the vexed bounds of his relationship to his white benefactor? Laurie Maffly-kipp, The New Republic, "The True Story of the Freed Slave Kneeling at Lincoln’s Feet," 1 July 2020 Cynthia LaConte, the benefactor who helped secure the DNC for Milwaukee, questioned the need to tap into her line of credit. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "2020 DNC; Federal judges weigh-in on Wisconsin voting; Madison policing," 30 June 2020 Plans may be in the making for some cash to come your way via a family loan or even a secret benefactor., "Horoscope," 27 June 2020 The Mediterranean-style home was built in 1925 for the son of mining tycoon and Griffith Park benefactor Griffith J. Griffith. Neal J. Leitereg, Los Angeles Times, "Van Griffith estate in Los Feliz returns to market at $8.3 million," 26 June 2020 For Zoox, the deal provides a deep-pocketed benefactor to advance its technology. Jay Greene, Washington Post, "Amazon buys self-driving car firm Zoox, suggesting a future of automated deliveries," 26 June 2020 In Bristol earlier this month, a statue of Edward Colston, a major benefactor to the city in the early 18th Century, was tossed into the harbor. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "George Floyd protests force Britain to reckon with its role in slavery, leading some companies to pay reparations," 18 June 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of benefactor

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about benefactor

Time Traveler for benefactor

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for benefactor

Last Updated

7 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Benefactor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for benefactor


How to pronounce benefactor (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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