Word of the DayThursday, December 25, 2003
\BEN-uh-fak-shuhn; ben-uh-FAK-shuhn\ , noun;
The act of conferring a benefit.
A benefit conferred; especially, a charitable donation.
Rockefeller's taxable income was then $33,000,000 and that his total fortune was probably more than $800,000,000. At that time he had distributed about $500,000,000 in public benefactions.
-- "Financier's Fortune in Oil Amassed in Industrial Era of 'Rugged Individualism'", New York Times, May 24, 1937
It may be, as some social psychologists argue, that the competitive urge to gain more is in time replaced by an equally competitive urge to win fame and favor through public benefactions.
-- Robin W. Winks, Laurance S. Rockefeller: Catalyst for Conservation
Benefaction is from Late Latin benefactio, from Latin benefacere, "to do well, to do good to," from bene, "well" + facere, "to do."
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