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
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Recent Examples on the Web

One of the reasons philanthropists sometimes fail to measure what really matters is that the global political economy primarily seeks what is efficient and scalable. Wired, "Philanthropy and the Challenge of Quantifying Success," 30 July 2019 White philanthropist Sidney Gerber arranged a meeting with Lee and Wing Luke, the first Asian American elected to public office in the Northwest., "Oregon Ducks fall camp breakdown: Defensive line," 30 July 2019 Few philanthropists are so open to new ideas or willing to invest in an unproven entrepreneur. Wendy Kopp, WSJ, "Ross Perot’s Educational Legacy," 10 July 2019 Not only are states legislating personalized learning, but philanthropists are funding it and, in some cases, families are pushing back against it. Penny Bishop, The Conversation, "What is personalized learning and why is it so controversial? 5 questions answered," 5 July 2019 Local philanthropists clamoring for art to play a larger role in education saw their chance when Carol Johnson became BPS superintendent in 2007. Kellen Browning,, "As some districts zero in on test scores, Boston celebrates revitalized arts education," 9 June 2019 Since 2006, philanthropists and their private foundations and charities have given almost half a billion dollars to those groups, according to an Associated Press analysis of tax filings and Foundation Center data. Sally Ho, The Seattle Times, "AP Analysis: Billionaires fuel powerful state charter groups," 16 July 2018 This has been used, among other things, to build up antipathy towards George Soros, a Hungarian-American philanthropist. The Economist, "How Viktor Orban hollowed out Hungary’s democracy," 31 Aug. 2019 With the help of former state Rep. Rocky Raczkowski and businessman/philanthropist Bill Pulte, 79- year-old Airforce vet Bill Belcher gets a new car. Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit millionaire Bill Pulte: I'm not giving away my inheritance on Twitter," 29 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for philanthropist

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

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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 How to pronounce philanthropist (audio) \

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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concealment of treason or felony

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