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.

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

According to Bustle, Dave was taking part in a charity hockey game in 1995, and invited the show’s entire cast to watch the game. Emma Dibdin, Country Living, "Candace Cameron Bure's Marriage with Husband Valeri Is Straight Out of a Hallmark Movie," 25 Nov. 2018 Fans of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have created the #GlobalSussexBabyShower social media campaign to inspire donations to their charities supported by the royal couple ahead of their baby's arrival. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Thank Fans for Donating to Charities in Their Honor Ahead of Their Baby's Arrival," 5 Apr. 2019 Last night, Prince Charles hosted a dinner for his charity, the Prince’s Trust, which helps at-risk youth. Vogue, "All the Celebrity Guests at Prince Charles’s Glamorous Buckingham Palace Party," 13 Mar. 2019 Members need to accept that their first-choice charity may not be selected for the group’s donation. Veronica Dagher, WSJ, "What’s Behind the Surge in Giving Circles," 10 Feb. 2019 Over the weekend, Nike announced a multiyear agreement with Kaepernick including his own apparel line, video ads and billboards featuring his image, and a contribution to the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback's Know Your Rights charity. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "College of the Ozarks, private Christian school, drops Nike over Kaepernick ad," 6 Sep. 2018 In lieu of flowers donations should be directed to your own favorite charities. Sun-Sentinel.com, "Deaths in South Florida: 7/9," 9 July 2018 Through his charity, Prince Charles has likely answered the prayers of thousands. Simon Perry, PEOPLE.com, "Prince Charles Shares Poignant Moment with Man Who Credits Royal with Helping Turn His Life Around," 4 July 2018 For his weekend in Windsor, Baker focused on the youth football camp and his charity, the Chris Baker #92 Foundation, which promotes literacy initiatives, mentorships, life skills, and values. Dennis Hohenberger, Courant Community, "Chris Baker Visits Bart's Drive-In," 3 July 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about charity

Statistics for charity

Last Updated

16 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for charity

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on charity

What made you want to look up charity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a strong desire or propensity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!