charity

noun
char·​i·​ty | \ ˈcher-ə-tē How to pronounce charity (audio) , ˈcha-rə-\
plural charities

Definition of charity

1a : generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering also : aid given to those in need received charity from the neighbors
b : an institution engaged in relief of the poor raised funds for several charities
c : public provision for the relief of the needy too proud to accept charity
2 : benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity The holidays are a time for charity and goodwill.
3a : a gift for public benevolent purposes
b : an institution (such as a hospital) founded by such a gift
4 : lenient judgment of others The critic was liked for his charity and moderation.

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Choose the Right Synonym for charity

mercy, charity, clemency, grace, leniency mean a disposition to show kindness or compassion. mercy implies compassion that forbears punishing even when justice demands it. threw himself on the mercy of the court charity stresses benevolence and goodwill shown in broad understanding and tolerance of others. show a little charity for the less fortunate clemency implies a mild or merciful disposition in one having the power or duty of punishing. the judge refused to show clemency grace implies a benign attitude and a willingness to grant favors or make concessions. by the grace of God leniency implies lack of severity in punishing. criticized the courts for excessive leniency

Examples of charity in a Sentence

The holidays are a time for charity and good will. She refused to accept charity. The dinner was held to raise funds for several charities. She runs a local charity that gives books to children. All the money will go to charity.
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Recent Examples on the Web

In Marie's memory, please make donations to NAMI Cape Cod, 5 Mark Lane, Suite 3, Hyannis, Massachusetts, 02601, namicapecod.org, the Salvation Army, or a charity of your choice. courant.com, "Marie Alice Petraitis," 9 June 2019 Shelter to Soldier is one of a half-dozen charities supported by Cox Charities, which turned 20 this year. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Service dog made veteran’s first pitch at Padres game possible," 7 June 2019 Her family has pledged $2 million to a local charity focused on gun violence in Minneapolis. NBC News, "Ex-Minneapolis officer who killed Justine Damond sentenced to 12.5 years," 7 June 2019 The five local Pure Barre studios hosting the event have each selected a local charity that the owners are passionate about and will be competing to see which can raise the most money for their causes. Candice Terrell/share, Cincinnati.com, "Pure Barre’s record-setting ‘Barre on the Bridge’ is back," 7 June 2019 This was Amnesty International, a human-rights charity. The Economist, "Charity begins at work," 6 June 2019 Proceeds from the online auction last week will benefit the Glide Foundation, a California charity that helps San Francisco's homeless. CBS News, "Cryptocurrency whiz behind winning $4.5 million bid for lunch with Warren Buffett," 4 June 2019 Harding won $25,000 in prize money, designated for a charity of the winner’s choice. oregonlive.com, "Tonya Harding wins ‘Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition’: ‘This time I’ll say it was me, I did it’," 3 June 2019 That same year, the young golfer and his father, Earl Woods, started the Tiger Woods Foundation, a charity (now called TGR Foundation) that aims to help underprivileged students succeed in school and pursue their passions. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "An In-Depth Look at Tiger Woods' Unbelievable Career and Impressive Net Worth," 17 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'charity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of charity

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for charity

Middle English charite, from Anglo-French charité, from Late Latin caritat-, caritas Christian love, from Latin, dearness, from carus dear; akin to Old Irish carae friend, Sanskrit kāma love

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Statistics for charity

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for charity

The first known use of charity was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for charity

charity

noun

English Language Learners Definition of charity

: the act of giving money, food, or other kinds of help to people who are poor, sick, etc. also : something (such as money or food) that is given to people who are poor, sick, etc.
: an organization that helps people who are poor, sick, etc.
: the organizations that help people in need

charity

noun
char·​i·​ty | \ ˈcher-ə-tē How to pronounce charity (audio) \
plural charities

Kids Definition of charity

1 : love for others
2 : kindliness especially in judging others … I pray you mercy of my fault, and that ye will of your kindness and your charity forgive it …— Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee
3 : the giving of aid to the needy
4 : aid (as food or money) given to those in need
5 : an organization or fund for helping the needy

charity

noun
char·​i·​ty
plural charities

Legal Definition of charity

: a gift for humanitarian, philanthropic, or other purposes beneficial to the public (as maintaining a public building) also : an institution (as a hospital or school) or organization founded by such a gift — compare private foundation

Note: Statutory definitions of what institutions and organizations qualify as charities vary. Organizations that are primarily involved in political campaigns or lobbying do not qualify as charities for tax purposes, but trusts for them may be considered charitable. In addition to tax-exempt status, charities have also generally been granted immunity from tort suits.

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Comments on charity

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