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sponsor (n.)

1650s, from Late Latin sponsor "sponsor in baptism," in Latin "a surety, guarantee, bondsman," from sponsus, past participle of spondere "give assurance, promise solemnly," from Proto-Italic *spondejo- "to pledge," literally "to libate many times," from PIE *spondeio- "to libate" (source also of Hittite ishpanti- "to bring a fluid sacrifice, pour;" Greek spendein "make a drink offering," spondē "libation, offering of wine;" compare spondee). Sense of "person who pays for a radio (or, after 1947, TV) program" is first recorded 1931.

sponsor (v.)

1882, "to favor or support," from sponsor (n.). Commercial broadcasting sense is from 1931. Related: Sponsored; sponsoring.

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Definitions of sponsor from WordNet
1
sponsor (v.)
assume sponsorship of;
Synonyms: patronize / patronise
sponsor (v.)
assume responsibility for or leadership of;
The senator announced that he would sponsor the health care plan
sponsor (v.)
do one's shopping at; do business with; be a customer or client of;
Synonyms: patronize / patronise / shop / shop at / buy at / frequent
2
sponsor (n.)
someone who supports or champions something;
Synonyms: patron / supporter
sponsor (n.)
an advocate who presents a person (as for an award or a degree or an introduction etc.);
Synonyms: presenter
From wordnet.princeton.edu