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[spon-ser] /ˈspɒn sər/
a person who vouches or is responsible for a person or thing.
a person, firm, organization, etc., that finances and buys the time to broadcast a radio or television program so as to advertise a product, a political party, etc.
a person who makes a pledge or promise on behalf of another.
a person who answers for an infant at baptism, making the required professions and assuming responsibility for the child's religious upbringing; godfather or godmother.
verb (used with object)
to act as sponsor for; promise, vouch, or answer for.
Origin of sponsor
1645-55; < Latin spōnsor guarantor, equivalent to spond(ēre) to pledge + -tor -tor, with dt > s
Related forms
[spon-sawr-ee-uh l, -sohr-] /spɒnˈsɔr i əl, -ˈsoʊr-/ (Show IPA),
sponsorship, noun
unsponsored, adjective
1. patron, backer; guarantor. 2. advertiser. 5. guarantee, finance, back, underwrite. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sponsor
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A note is sent to each person selected as sponsor asking him to assume that friendly office.

    Social Life Maud C. Cooke
  • No sponsor ever gave the new arrival a mug or a silver spoon.

  • From this time on his interest was closely linked with that of Charles Frohman, who became his sponsor.

    Charles Frohman: Manager and Man Isaac Frederick Marcosson and Daniel Frohman
  • Desist, or I will baptize you in the well as Philip did the Ethiopian, without a sponsor.

    Going To Maynooth William Carleton
  • He was always my sponsor, my adviser; and what knowledge he bestowed relative to the ethics of our art!

    Nat Goodwin's Book Nat C. Goodwin
British Dictionary definitions for sponsor


(a person or group that provides funds for an activity, esp)
  1. a commercial organization that pays all or part of the cost of putting on a concert, sporting event, etc
  2. a person who donates money to a charity when the person requesting the donation has performed a specified activity as part of an organized fund-raising effort
(mainly US & Canadian) a person or business firm that pays the costs of a radio or television programme in return for advertising time
a legislator who presents and supports a bill, motion, etc
Also called godparent
  1. an authorized witness who makes the required promises on behalf of a person to be baptized and thereafter assumes responsibility for his Christian upbringing
  2. a person who presents a candidate for confirmation
(mainly US) a person who undertakes responsibility for the actions, statements, obligations, etc, of another, as during a period of apprenticeship; guarantor
(transitive) to act as a sponsor for
Derived Forms
sponsorial (spɒnˈsɔːrɪəl) adjective
sponsorship, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin, from spondēre to promise solemnly
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sponsor

1650s, from Late Latin sponsor "sponsor in baptism," in Latin "a surety, guarantee," from sponsus, past participle of spondere "give assurance, promise solemnly" (see spondee). Sense of "person who pays for a radio (or, after 1947, TV) program" is first recorded 1931. The verb is attested from 1884, "to favor or support;" commercial broadcasting sense is from 1931.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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