Definitions

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

  • n. A woman who gives aid, especially financial aid.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A female benefactor.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A woman who confers a benefit.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A female benefactor.

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

  • n. a woman benefactor

Etymologies

benefactor +‎ -ess (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • To these articles of intelligence she added, that the name of her benefactress was the celebrated Lady —, to whose character the youth was no stranger, though he had never seen her person before.

    The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle

  • "But I do _not_ love _her_!" answered the proud girl, regarding the woman whom the world called her benefactress, with a glance of queenly scorn.

    The Old Homestead

  • I shall be an old woman then, and should, it may be, have less objection to being known as his benefactress than at present.

    A Romantic Young Lady

  • "Benefactress! benefactress!" said I inwardly: "they all call Mrs. Reed my benefactress; if so, a benefactress is a disagreeable thing."

    Jane Eyre: an autobiography, Vol. I.

  • "And now tell me who is the lady whom Mr. Brocklehurst called your benefactress?"

    Jane Eyre: an autobiography, Vol. I.

  • Crotchety spinsters, ladies 'companions, put a cheerful face upon it, endure the humors of your so-called benefactress, carry her lapdogs for her; you have an English poodle for your rival, and you must seek to understand the moods of your patroness, and amuse her, and -- keep silence about yourselves.

    The Magic Skin

  • And accordingly the latest writers on this subject have relinquished that accusation; they no longer charge the old pedagogue with such an effort of genius; they confine themselves to accusing him of ingratitude towards his benefactress, which is as much as to say that a little personal favour, even when well earned, is to compel a man to shut his eyes henceforward to the character and conduct of the person who has conferred it, and that both patriotic feeling and political policy are to be quenched by a pension, which is a strange view.

    Royal Edinburgh Her Saints, Kings, Prophets and Poets

  • He was aware that his ingratitude to his benefactress was the theme of general remark and reproach; and he apprehended, should the King fall a victim to one of those attacks of indisposition to which he was continually subject -- an event which had been foretold by the astrologers, and which was anticipated by his physicians -- that he should be unable to contend against the animosity of the irritated Princess, and the undisguised aversion of the Duc d'Orléans, who made no effort to conceal his dislike to the haughty minister, against whom he published during his sojourn at

    The Life of Marie de Medicis — Volume 3

  • Sensitive to the mental atmosphere about her, as a wind harp to the lightest breeze, Berene felt this unexpressed sentiment in the breast of her "benefactress" and strove to avoid anything which could aggravate it.

    An Ambitious Man

  • Crotchety spinsters, ladies’ companions, put a cheerful face upon it, endure the humors of your so-called benefactress, carry her lapdogs for her; you have an English poodle for your rival, and you must seek to understand the moods of your patroness, and amuse her, and — keep silence about yourselves.

    The Magic Skin

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