philanthropist

noun
phi·​lan·​thro·​pist | \ fə-ˈlan(t)-thrə-pist How to pronounce philanthropist (audio) \

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The hotel and restaurant's two-story-tall main dining room features a library of 25,000 books, many of which came from the late philanthropist's collection. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "David Rockefeller's Book Collection Is on Display at the NoMad Las Vegas," 6 Dec. 2018 Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are many things: philanthropists, activists, roast chicken-eaters. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Allegedly Stole Their New Instagram Handle, and I'm Living for the Drama," 5 Apr. 2019 And Jamil steals the show as the socialite philanthropist with less-than-honorable intentions. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "Jameela Jamil Wants to Upend the "Body Positivity" Movement," 26 Sep. 2018 Princess Diana accomplished so much in her lifetime as a royal, as a mother, and as a philanthropist. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Princess Diana's Close Friend Posts Rare Candid Photo of the Royal," 31 Aug. 2018 The wealthy media owner is often presented as either a philanthropist stepping in to save a legacy brand from oblivion, or as an opportunist trying to launder their reputation and influence the political conversation in their favor. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "The Other Side of Jeff Bezos’s Washington Post," 27 June 2018 Since then, Greg has built a name for himself as a philanthropist and preserver of history. Megan Janetsky, azcentral, "A hotel, a war and a family tethered to Phoenix's history," 20 June 2018 Good deeds As someone who's been wealthy for a long time (Forbes magazine estimated his annual income to be $31 million in 1987), Davis is known as a philanthropist and an environmentalist. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "Garfield turns 40: Nine lives of Indiana’s top cartoon cat," 19 June 2018 Hamilton was well-known as a generous philanthropist, sowing the region with new buildings, gardens, and other spaces bearing the Hamilton name. Grace Dickinson, Philly.com, "Campbell heiress Dodo Hamilton's home goods bring in $4.9 million at auction in a near sell-out," 1 May 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.

See More

First Known Use of philanthropist

circa 1736, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for philanthropist

see philanthropy

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about philanthropist

Statistics for philanthropist

Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for philanthropist

The first known use of philanthropist was circa 1736

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for philanthropist

philanthropist

noun

English Language Learners Definition of philanthropist

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

philanthropist

noun
phi·​lan·​thro·​pist | \ fə-ˈlan-thrə-pəst How to pronounce philanthropist (audio) \

Kids Definition of philanthropist

: a person who gives generously to help other people

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on philanthropist

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for philanthropist

Spanish Central: Translation of philanthropist

Nglish: Translation of philanthropist for Spanish Speakers

Comments on philanthropist

What made you want to look up philanthropist? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a device or gadget

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!