benefactor

noun
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

North Korea and China are longtime allies dating back to the Korean War, and Beijing remains Pyongyang's biggest international benefactor, accounting for an estimated 90% of North Korean foreign trade. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, "Xi heads to North Korea as fate of US nuclear deal still up in the air," 19 June 2019 The program’s benefactor, Jackson told me, was the family foundation of Leonard Riggio, the executive chairman of Barnes & Noble. Daniel A. Gross, The New Yorker, "The Strange Story of a Secret Literary Fellowship," 16 June 2019 Here’s what Pettersen posted on Facebook: Mile High Politics (and the ‘burbs) The psychedelic movement has a new benefactor: Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps. Nic Garcia, The Denver Post, "The Spot: The inside scoop on first gentleman Marlon Reis, reinsurance program moves forward, and who is the most electable in the 2020 Senate race?," 13 June 2019 And unlike many benefactors, who just give money away, Mr. Cullman and his wife, who died in 2009, often took active roles in shaping their beneficiaries’ cultural and educational projects. Robert D. Mcfadden, New York Times, "Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Hall of the Universe," 7 June 2019 These institutions, when their survival depends on it, will pretty easily and quickly find a corporate benefactor, and this is invariably corrupting. Sean Illing, Vox, "How corporate cash bought higher education," 14 Nov. 2018 The divide was sort of comic, the benefactors in Dries Van Noten and the fawning fangirls in CDG. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "“It’s Hard to Find Interesting New Things”—A Chat with Rei Kawakubo as She Wins the Noguchi Award," 3 May 2019 Philanthropies deal constantly with smaller-time benefactors making expensive, time-consuming, and entitled requests. Dan Duray, Town & Country, "When Is a High-Maintenance Donor Not Worth the Trouble?," 20 May 2019

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

Statistics for benefactor

Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for benefactor

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for benefactor

benefactor

noun

English Language Learners Definition of benefactor

: someone who helps another person, group, etc., by giving money

benefactor

noun
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).

WORD OF THE DAY

to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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