[ben-uh-fak-ter, ben-uh-fak-]
a person who confers a benefit; kindly helper.
a person who makes a bequest or endowment, as to an institution.

1425–75; late Middle English benefactour < Late Latin; see bene-, factor

2. patron, supporter, sponsor, backer, protector. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
benefactor (ˈbɛnɪˌfæktə, ˌbɛnɪˈfæk-)
a person who supports or helps a person, institution, etc, esp by giving money; patron
fem n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

mid-15c., from L.L. benefactor, from L. phrase bene facere, from bene "well" (see bene-) + facere "to do" (see factitious). Translated in O.E. as wel-doend.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Members and benefactors have generously donated art and funds to expand the
Thus big and little stars are unlikely to serve as benefactors of life.
Some of the benefactors would be the morbidly obese.
The ploy suggests a cargo cult, setting out lures for prospective benefactors.
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