A philanthropist is a person who gives money or gifts to charities, or helps needy people in other ways. Famous examples include Andrew Carnegie and Bill & Melinda Gates.

In English, the -ist suffix describes a person who does a particular action. A philanthropist practices philanthropy. Philanthropists are wealthy people with a generous nature and a concern for human welfare. Philanthropy is from Late Latin philanthrōpia, from Greek, from philanthrōpos “humane, kind,” from the prefix phil- plus anthrōpos “man, mankind.”

Definitions of philanthropist
  1. noun

    someone who makes charitable donations intended to increase human well-being

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    Andrew Carnegie

    United States industrialist and philanthropist who endowed education and public libraries and research trusts (1835-1919)
    Peter Cooper

    United States industrialist who built the first American locomotive; founded Cooper Union in New York City to offer free courses in the arts and sciences (1791-1883)
    Ezra Cornell

    United States businessman who unified the telegraph system in the United States and who in 1865 (with Andrew D. White) founded Cornell University (1807-1874)
    Solomon Guggenheim

    United States philanthropist; son of Meyer Guggenheim who created several foundations to support the arts (1861-1949)
    John Harvard

    American philanthropist who left his library and half his estate to the Massachusetts college that now bears his name (1607-1638)
    Milton Snavely Hershey

    United States confectioner and philanthropist who created the model industrial town of Hershey, Pennsylvania; founded an industrial school for orphan boys (1857-1945)
    Johns Hopkins

    United States financier and philanthropist who left money to found the university and hospital that bear his name in Baltimore (1795-1873)
    Andrew William Mellon

    United States financier and philanthropist (1855-1937)
    Alfred Bernhard Nobel

    Swedish chemist remembered for his invention of dynamite and for the bequest that created the Nobel prizes (1833-1896)
    First Viscount Nuffield

    British industrialist who manufactured automobiles and created a philanthropic foundation (1877-1963)
    John Davison Rockefeller

    United States industrialist who made a fortune in the oil business and gave half of it away (1839-1937)
    Commodore Vanderbilt

    United States financier who accumulated great wealth from railroad and shipping businesses (1794-1877)
    Elihu Yale

    English philanthropist who made contributions to a college in Connecticut that was renamed in his honor (1649-1721)
    type of:

    bestower, conferrer, donor, giver, presenter

    person who makes a gift of property

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