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

BEN STANSALLGetty Images Anyway, The Royal Holiday will go on sale October 1, and will sit nicely on the bookshelf alongside Meghan Markle’s charity cookbook, and maybe also that autobiography that her dog wrote last year. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "A Romance Novel Based on Meghan Markle's Mother, Doria Ragland, Really is Coming Soon," 12 Apr. 2019 When Khloé put a hater in their place When Vanderpump Rules star Lala Kent posted this video of her and Khloé playing poker at a charity event, the mommy shamers voiced their opinions. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "10 Times the Kardashians Hilariously Clapped Back At Instagram Haters," 19 Mar. 2019 Last night, Pippa made her first post-baby red carpet appearance at The British Heart Foundation's charity event, The Beating Hearts Ball. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Pippa Middleton Looks Chic During a Rare Outing with Her Son Arthur," 1 Mar. 2019 Photo: christian bruna/EPA/Shutterstock The squad prepared this fall for a special performance at a charity event at Vienna City Hall, a rare appearance away from the derby track. Nina Adam, WSJ, "Female Roller Derby Skaters Are Fearless—So Are Their Male Cheerleaders," 7 Dec. 2018 In Pride, Prejudice and Mistletoe, Chabert plays Darcy, a woman who returns to her hometown for Christmas and is forced not only to reconnect with an old rival, Luke (played by Brendan Penny), but to plan a charity event with him. Emma Dibdin, Country Living, "Who Is Lacey Chabert? Meet the Star of the Hallmark Christmas Movie, ‘Pride, Prejudice and Mistletoe'," 23 Nov. 2018 Got this bruise tonight when Tom Arnold tried to ambush my husband Mark and me at a charity event. Sasha Savitsky, Fox News, "Tom Arnold, Mark Burnett's alleged altercation under review by LAPD," 18 Sep. 2018 However, royal commentator Omid Scobie has pointed out that the power of social media has actually led to a plethora of charity donations thanks to Meghan. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Hashtag in Meghan Markle's Honor Has Helped Raise Charitable Donations All Over the World," 30 Mar. 2019 Most charities have a small budget and are accustomed to operating within it. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "Why disaster relief is so hard," 25 Mar. 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

18 Apr 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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