Definition of benefaction in US English:



  • A donation or gift.

    • ‘Kellogg College has received generous benefactions from the Kellogg Foundation.’
    • ‘Copenhagen is filled with his projects and benefactions - most famously the Little Mermaid, which he commissioned in 1913 after seeing a ballet version of the Hans Christian Anderson story.’
    • ‘As one of his biographers noted, the statistics of his benefactions alone are mind-numbing.’
    • ‘Allowing for inflation, religious benefactions dropped from a total of over £80,000 in 1501-10 to under £2,000 in 1591-1600.’
    • ‘She wasted a great part of the royal treasury for her benefactions!’
    • ‘His total benefactions - including more than 2,800 Carnegie libraries - amounted to $350 million.’
    • ‘Those without political ambitions would point to their record of public service and, if wealthy, to their public and private benefactions.’
    • ‘In fact there is an ambiguity to several of these benefactions.’
    • ‘These conferences are made possible through the benefaction of the Barrow Cadbury Trust.’
    • ‘But he left his benefaction for the university untouched and so inspired his colleagues and sons that they saw to its establishment.’
    • ‘‘I was brought up by the country, and I am always thinking of repaying the benefaction with my little contribution,’ Chen said.’
    • ‘Occasionally, a great private patron with local connections might favour the town with a benefaction or by acting as friend at court.’
    • ‘The new Foundation will receive a benefaction of £10 million from the Rhodes Trust, and will focus on the areas of education, governance, healthcare, environmental protection, law and sport.’
    • ‘But society visits upon its members other benefactions, of such significance as to make it appear more and more divine.’
    • ‘It is worth examining these benefactions carefully in order to determine from whence individual things came.’
    • ‘Refounded in 1602 on the site of the earlier university library, it has since 1604 borne by royal decree the name of the remarkable man whose endowment remains the greatest benefaction ever received by the University of Oxford.’
    • ‘My second example is the recent establishment of a professorship of Modern Arabic, made possible by a benefaction from the Sultan of Oman.’
    • ‘By such benefactions artists seek to pay some of their dues.’
    • ‘It is left to us to keep their generous benefaction alive, and our blessed, beautiful country worthy of their courage.’
    • ‘He provided steady employment and the list of his benefactions was long.’
    present, donation, offering, contribution, handout, presentation, bestowal, largesse, alms, charity, bonus, award, premium, bounty, boon, favour, bequest, legacy, inheritance, settlement, subsidy, grant, endowment
    View synonyms


Mid 17th century: from late Latin benefactio(n-), from bene facere ‘do good (to)’, from bene ‘well’ + facere ‘do’.