Definition of charity
1 : benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity The holidays are a time for charity and goodwill.
2a : generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering; also : aid given to those in need received charity from the neighborsb : an institution engaged in relief of the poor raised funds for several charitiesc : public provision for the relief of the needy too proud to accept charity
3a : a gift for public benevolent purposesb : 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.
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.
Recent Examples of charity from the Web
And skeptics say the mingling of aid, private charities and Western military missions could carry potentially damaging consequences for civilians and aid workers alike.
To celebrate its fourth anniversary, the show is raising money for New Alternatives, a charity that provides services to homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.
Festival proceeds benefit Rotary Club of Edmonds local and international charities.
Mess Hall Bar (charity: No Kid Hungry) is offering a Negroni Santo, made with St. George Botanivore Gin, St. George Brunto Americano, Carpano Antica and Campari.
Crocheting and knitting group Projects are donated to local charities selected by the group.
In a very Middle Eastern (or Peronist) way, $100 million will now come sloshing in to one of Ivanka’s favorite charities.
Another charity is Snowball Express, which organizes events for families with a service member who passed away since 9/11.
Although AFAG works with other drug companies, Alexion contributed 1.672 million Brazilian reais (about $500,000) to the charity in 2014 and 2015.
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.
Origin and Etymology of 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
First Known Use: 13th centurySee Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of charity
CHARITY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of charity for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of charity for Students
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
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
Additional Notes on charity
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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