General English

  • noun a person or company that pays to financially help a sport, an exhibition or a music festival, in return for the right to advertise at sporting events, on sports clothes or programmes
  • noun a company which pays part of the cost of making a TV or radio programme by advertising on the programme
  • noun a person who pays money to a charity when someone else walks, swims, or runs a certain distance
  • noun a person who takes responsibility for someone
  • verb to be the god-parent of a child and promise to help the child to lead a Christian life


  • noun a company which pays part of the cost of making a TV programme by taking advertising time on the programme
  • noun a person or company which pays money to help research or to pay for a business venture
  • noun a company which pays to help a sport, in return for advertising rights
  • noun an organisation, such as a merchant bank, which backs a new share issue
  • verb to act as a sponsor for something
  • verb to play an active part in something, such as a pension plan for employees


  • noun a person who recommends another person for a job


  • Any person or institution representing the owner. See also owner.

Human Resources

  • verb to recommend someone for a job
  • verb to pay for someone to go on a training course

Information & Library Science

  • noun a person or organisation that pays all or part of the expenses for an event or period of study
  • verb to pay to support an activity or person

Media Studies

  • noun a person or a business that pays for radio or television programming by buying advertising time


  • noun a person or group such as a trade union which pays money towards the expenses of an MP or candidate
  • noun an MP who introduces a bill in the House of Commons
  • verb to support the expenses of an MP or candidate


  • noun a company which pays for a radio or TV programme as a way of advertising its products
  • verb to pay money to help business development in return for advertising

Origin & History of “sponsor”

Etymologically, a sponsor is someone who makes a ‘solemn promise’. The word was borrowed from Latin sponsor, a derivative of spondēre ‘promise solemnly’, which denoted ‘someone who stands surely for another’. In the Christian era it came to be used for a ‘godparent’, which was its original sense in English. From the same source come English despond, respond, spouse, and probably spontaneous (17th c.).