Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act of conferring aid of some sort.
  • n. A charitable gift or deed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An act of doing good; a benefit, a blessing.
  • n. An act of charity; almsgiving.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of conferring a benefit.
  • n. A benefit conferred; esp. a charitable donation.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of conferring a benefit; a doing of good; beneficence.
  • n. A benefit conferred; especially, a charitable donation.
  • n. Synonyms Kindness. Gift, contribution, alms, charity.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a contribution of money or assistance
  • n. an act intending or showing kindness and good will

Etymologies

Late Latin benefactiō, benefactiōn-, from Latin benefactus, past participle of benefacere, to do a service : bene, well; see deu-2 in Indo-European roots + facere, to do.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin benefactiōnem, from benefacere ("to benefit"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Half her time was spent at spillikins, which I consider as a very valuable part of our household furniture, and as not the least important benefaction from the family of Knight to that of Austen.

    Jane Austen: Her Homes and Her Friends

  • As I learned in writing Virtue, Valor, and Vanity: The Founding Fathers and the Pursuit of Fame, Alexander Hamilton was no less ambitious than Ryan Seacrest -- but to Hamilton and the other founders, fame was different then from what it is now, attainable only through civic benefaction, which is to say, only through taking steps to make life better for others.

    Eric Burns: The Founding Celebrities

  • I do not think there is anything insurmountably difficult or impossible about getting men to understand one or two simple propositions which they do not understand now, that is, the benefaction to any community of the recognized money-maker.

    Australia and Her Post-War Problem

  • It would be safer, perhaps, to let the suspicion rest upon that gentleman's memory, of having indulged his own benevolent disposition in this disguise, than to suppose it possible that so scanty and reluctant a benefaction was the sole mark of attention accorded by a "gracious Prince and Master"

    Memoirs of the Life of the Rt. Hon. Richard Brinsley Sheridan — Volume 02

  • The giving of money is, of course, only one kind of benefaction, and not the highest kind, which is the giving of self; but the good which these gifts have rendered possible is beyond calculation.

    American Men of Mind

  • Permit me now to render my portion of the general debt of gratitude, by acknowledgments in advance for the singular benefaction which is the subject of this letter, to tender my wishes for the continuance of a life so usefully employed, and to add the assurances of my perfect esteem and respect.

    Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson, Volume 4

  • Permit me now to render my portion of the general debt of gratitude, by acknowledgements in advance for the singular benefaction which is the subject of this letter, to tender my wishes for the continuance of a life so usefully employed, and to add the assurances of my perfect esteem and respect.

    Letters

  • He died for no ends of patriotic devotion, or even of moral reformation, as regards the social wrongs and destructive vices of the world, but for the state of sin itself and the recovery of souls to God — just that kind of benefaction which only a very few of mankind, such as Plato, for example, and like meditative teachers here and there, had once thought of as a want, or could even begin to conceive.

    The Vicarious Sacrifice, Grounded in Principles of Universal Obligation.

  • He was president of the Stanford University, a private benefaction of the times.

    Chapter 1: My Eagle

  • Now 74, Whelan has attained an improbable six seasons of Premier League football for Wigan at his DW Stadium, but the club is wholly reliant on his benefaction.

    Blackburn Rovers and Birmingham City have the most to fear from relegation | David Conn

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