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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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 After witnessing Joe dispatch the much younger attackers with brutal efficiency, Sam becomes convinced that his benefactor is actually the superhero who supposedly died in a warehouse fire in his final battle with Nemesis. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 Aug. 2022 The leaders of Mali’s junta gathered at Bamako airport earlier this month to hail the latest delivery from their new benefactor: the Kremlin. Joe Parkinson, WSJ, 21 Aug. 2022 The Arizona Republic reports a new Blake Masters ad on the border touts technology linked to his main benefactor, and colleague, Peter Thiel. Ben Kamisar, NBC News, 19 July 2022 His target was a county supervisor who, in exchange for cash and other perks, pushed measures that advanced the interests of his secret benefactor and tried to stifle those that didn’t. Matthew Ormseth, Los Angeles Times, 27 May 2022 Hocker is under contract to Nike, longtime benefactor of the Oregon Ducks. David Woods, The Indianapolis Star, 9 Sep. 2022 In the meantime David Geffen, the music mogul, replaced Perelman as the building’s benefactor. William Cohan, Town & Country, 18 Aug. 2022 In 2011, the group was invited to play at the 75th birthday party for their friend Wavy Gravy, and a new benefactor, George Wallace of the indie High Moon Records, helped arrange rehearsal space and offered to release a new album. David Browne, Rolling Stone, 31 July 2022 Another bump in the road came after its biggest benefactor, South Dakota credit card billionaire and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford—who had donated $150 million and pledged $350 million more—was accused of possession of child pornography in 2020. Emma Whitford, Forbes, 9 June 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of benefactor

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

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Last Updated

25 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Benefactor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for benefactor


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

More from Merriam-Webster on benefactor

Nglish: Translation of benefactor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of benefactor for Arabic Speakers


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