phi·​lan·​thro·​py | \ fə-ˈlan(t)-thrə-pē How to pronounce philanthropy (audio) \
plural philanthropies

Definition of philanthropy

1 : goodwill to fellow members of the human race especially : active effort to promote human welfare
2a : an act or gift done or made for humanitarian purposes
b : an organization distributing or supported by funds set aside for humanitarian purposes

How Should You Use philanthropy?

With its anthro- root, philanthropy means literally "love of mankind". Thus, philanthropy is giving money for a purpose or cause benefiting people who you don't personally know. (Animals are usually included as well.) Individuals have often set up their own permanent philanthropic organizations in the form of foundations. The greatest American philanthropists have included Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Andrew Carnegie, and John D. Rockefeller, but tens of millions of us could be considered philanthropists on a much smaller scale.

Examples of philanthropy in a Sentence

For many years, Microsoft has used corporate philanthropy to bring technology to people who can't get it otherwise, donating more than $3 billion in cash and software to try to bridge the digital divide. — Bill Gates, Time, 11 Aug. 2008 Cooper, born in New York City in 1791, was himself an inventor and a hands-on industrialist, whose fortune got its start in the glue business, greatly expanded in the iron industry, eventually included more than half the telegraph lines in the United States, and was significantly invested in philanthropy and the cause of public education. — John Updike, New York Review of Books, 10 Aug. 2006 In conditions of anarchy, a crude and violent order, based upon brute force and psychopathic ruthlessness, soon establishes itself, which regards philanthropy not as a friend but as an enemy and a threat. — Theodore Dalrymple, National Review, 26 Sept. 2005 The family's philanthropy made it possible to build the public library. among the industrialist's philanthropies was a college scholarship fund for deserving students from the inner city
Recent Examples on the Web Her singular commitment—here and across the country—to transformative philanthropy has already secured the long-term future of dozens of nonprofits. Dana Givens, Robb Report, 12 Sep. 2022 Supervisor Juan Miguel Martinez, the measure's lead sponsor, said the funding would jumpstart other possible philanthropy by showing the county has a financial stake in the project and improve the area around the Domes. Alison Dirr, Journal Sentinel, 9 Sep. 2022 This donation is only one of many instances of Scott’s philanthropy. Alice Hearing, Fortune, 9 Sep. 2022 Now, in the twenty-first century, royal tours and philanthropy are routinely live-streamed and publicized through social media. Carolyn Harris, Quartz, 9 Sep. 2022 But his devotion to philanthropy has also been a constant throughout his life, In 2020 he was honored with the CC Forum Philanthropy Award in Monaco, and named UNESCO Center for Peace 2020 Cross-Cultural and Peace Crafter Award Laureate. Liza Lentini, SPIN, 8 Sep. 2022 The Clooneys' activism and commitment to philanthropy and humanitarian causes is just one thing that connects the couple, who married in 2014. Stephanie Wenger, Peoplemag, 7 Sep. 2022 Yes, the Chicago Bulls defeated the Seattle SuperSonics at the United Center in Game 1 of the 1996 NBA Finals on June 5, 1996, but Princess Diana’s visit to the city meant philanthropy went head-to-head with sports. Kori Rumore, Chicago Tribune, 1 Sep. 2022 The Cinema Foundation, launched in March, is dedicated to developing future diverse workforces within the exhibition industry and growing moviegoing communities through research, education and philanthropy. Pamela Mcclintock, The Hollywood Reporter, 28 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'philanthropy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of philanthropy

circa 1623, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for philanthropy

Late Latin philanthropia, from Greek philanthrōpia, from philanthrōpos loving people, from phil- + anthrōpos human being

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The first known use of philanthropy was circa 1623

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Last Updated

15 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Philanthropy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for philanthropy


phi·​lan·​thro·​py | \ fə-ˈlan-thrə-pē How to pronounce philanthropy (audio) \
plural philanthropies

Kids Definition of philanthropy

1 : desire and active effort to help other people
2 : something done or given to help needy people
3 : an organization giving or supported by charitable gifts

More from Merriam-Webster on philanthropy

Nglish: Translation of philanthropy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of philanthropy for Arabic Speakers

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