ben·e·fac·tor | \ˈbe-nə-ˌfak-tər \

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

Poland, the region’s largest economy, is the biggest benefactor on a nominal level in the current seven-year budget, with Hungary sporting the biggest inflow on a per-capita basis. Adrian Krajewski,, "East European Currencies Whipsaw on Dollar Gains, EU Budget," 2 May 2018 The Yankees were the biggest benefactor from the Marlins' fire sale, adding reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton to one of the most homer-friendly ballparks in baseball. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Can the Houston Astros repeat? Here are 5 storylines for the 2018 MLB season | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 23 Mar. 2018 The organizations are barred from lending money to companies owned by their officers or benefactors, under a half-century-old federal law that bars self-dealing. Andrea Fuller, WSJ, "Pistachio Billionaires’ Foundation Lends Millions to Business Associates," 28 June 2018 Heritage had just received a multimillion-dollar commitment from Mr. Bannon’s former benefactor, Rebekah Mercer, according to two people familiar with the gift. New York Times, "Behind Trump’s Plan to Overhaul the Government: Scaling Back the Safety Net," 21 June 2018 Still, Goddard remained a benefactor, paying for Claflin's travels and art classes. Gus Garcia-roberts,, "A notorious mansion. An alleged assault by a Hollywood producer. A suicide. What happened to Brian Claflin?," 11 May 2018 Schwarzman would also be notified if the district sells naming rights to any other benefactors, according to a person familiar with the agreement. William Bender,, "Abington High School won't be renamed after billionaire donor Schwarzman," 31 Mar. 2018 Russia and China, analysts say, have been Mr. Maduro’s primary benefactors keeping the regime in power, lending the government cash in exchange for inexpensive energy. Ian Talley, WSJ, "U.S. Sanctions Top Venezuelan Official Diosdado Cabello Rondón," 18 May 2018 McCain was one of five senators accused of trying to pressure federal thrift regulators to back off a political benefactor, financier and developer Charles H. Keating Jr. Eliza Collins, USA TODAY, "John McCain HBO documentary highlights Arizona senator's life, 'warts and all'," 17 May 2018

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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Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for benefactor

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 \

Kids Definition of benefactor

: someone who helps another especially by giving money

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