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 Russia is a main benefactor to President Bashar Assad of Syria in the war and used its veto power at the UN Security Council to help shut down three other humanitarian corridors into Syria in 2020. Lara Jakes,, 12 July 2022 In the early 1960s, Kleefeld’s late father was a major cultural benefactor in L.A. Los Angeles Times, 13 June 2022 Walker was named commander of France’s Order of Arts and Letters for his work as a benefactor of the arts on Tuesday at a Gilded Age mansion in New York owned by the French embassy. Thalia Beaty, ajc, 27 May 2022 The music executive is a founding benefactor of the Bronx Freedom Fund and founding board member of the Innocence Project. Paul Grein, Billboard, 10 May 2022 The former Soviet Union was a major benefactor to North Korea, financially propping the Kim regime up. Paula Hancocks, CNN, 8 May 2022 What’s also revealed is her importance to the local economy, not only as an employer but also as a benefactor. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 May 2022 An early transplant to Austin from New York City, Kleinman first met Franklin in 1973 and has been a benefactor over the ensuing decades. Steve Ditlea, SPIN, 14 Mar. 2022 Murphy had named Sido in her will but not as a four-legged benefactor of wealth or property. Rachid Haoues, CBS News, 18 June 2015 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

27 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Benefactor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Aug. 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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