phi·lan·thro·pist | \fə-ˈlan(t)-thrə-pist \

Definition of philanthropist 

: one who makes an active effort to promote human welfare : a person who practices philanthropy

Examples of philanthropist in a Sentence

Among his converts was Arthur Tappan, a New York textile merchant and philanthropist who sheltered and guided the development of the antislavery movement through its long early years by dint of sheer openhandedness. — Marilynne Robinson, The Death of Adam, (1998) 2005 John D. was indisputably a great philanthropist. He took care of his family first, of course; but he founded the University of Chicago in 1892, the Rockefeller Institute (now Rockefeller University) in 1901, and the Rockefeller Foundation in 1911, and made other substantial gifts along the way. — Robert M. Solow, New Republic, 23 Dec. 2002 You had to admire it and admire the man, who sat now like a benign locust, his slender insectile body swamped in a black leather chair, leaning over the desk, all smiles, a parasite disguised as a philanthropist. — Zadie Smith, White Teeth, 2000 … a hundred-and-one-year-old Jewish philanthropist in Hartsdale named Henry J. Gaisman donated two and a quarter million dollars to the Archdiocese to purchase the property and preserve the integrity of the landmark. — Brendan Gill, New Yorker, 10 June 1991
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Recent Examples on the Web

The attending investors each made a new minimum $1 million Israel bond investment and met with internationally-renowned investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett , who also participated in the event that took place in his hometown. Sergio Carmona, Jewish Journal, "Local Israel Bonds investors attend reception featuring Warren Buffett," 13 July 2018 People leave the memorial service of civic leader and philanthropist Edith McAllister Monday afternoon at the First Presbyterian Church. Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje, San Antonio Express-News, "Personal side of late philanthropist celebrated," 9 July 2018 Another legacy is the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, established in 1935 by poet and philanthropist Edith Anisfield Wolf, in honor of her father, John Anisfield, and husband, Eugene Wolf. Christopher Johnston, The Christian Science Monitor, "Cleveland uses literature to empower youth, overcome social divides," 9 July 2018 An ambitious program to blast cameras far beyond the solar system was announced in April 2016 by internet investor and science philanthropist Yuri Milner, late physicist Stephen Hawking and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Scientific American, "Astronomy at the Speed of Light," 3 July 2018 As with successful gun initiatives pushed by the Alliance in 2014 and 2016, this year’s effort has the backing of deep-pocketed Washington residents like Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen and venture capitalist Nick Hanauer. Joseph O’sullivan, The Seattle Times, "Group says it has 360,000 signatures to put gun-safety measure on Washington’s November ballot," 2 July 2018 Scripps Health was founded in 1924 by Ellen Browning Scripps, a journalist and philanthropist who, with her brother, founded the E.W. Scripps newspaper chain that grew to be one of the largest in the United States. Phil Diehl,, "Scripps medical building approved for Vista Way in Oceanside," 26 June 2018 Also running in the Democratic primary is billionaire Jeff Greene, philanthropist Chris King, Josue Larose and Louis McClanahan III. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Florida governor race heats up with Trump endorsement, FBI probe: A look at the candidates," 22 June 2018 Photo: Ethan Miller / Getty Images Platinum-selling performer and philanthropist Akon wants to build his own city in Senegal and launch his own cryptocurrency as the central form of exchange. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Akon wants to found a ‘real-life Wakanda’ based around his cryptocurrency AKoin," 20 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'philanthropist.' 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 philanthropist

circa 1736, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for philanthropist

see philanthropy

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Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for philanthropist

The first known use of philanthropist was circa 1736

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English Language Learners Definition of philanthropist

: a wealthy person who gives money and time to help make life better for other people


phi·lan·thro·pist | \fə-ˈlan-thrə-pəst \

Kids Definition of philanthropist

: a person who gives generously to help other people

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Spanish Central: Translation of philanthropist

Nglish: Translation of philanthropist for Spanish Speakers

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a state of commotion or excitement

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