do·​nate ˈdō-ˌnāt How to pronounce donate (audio)
donated; donating

transitive verb

: to make a gift of
especially : to contribute to a public or charitable cause
: to transfer (a particle, such as an electron) to another atom or molecule
Choose the Right Synonym for donate

give, present, donate, bestow, confer, afford mean to convey to another as a possession.

give, the general term, is applicable to any passing over of anything by any means.

give alms
gave her a ride on a pony
give my love to your mother

present carries a note of formality and ceremony.

present an award

donate is likely to imply a publicized giving (as to charity).

donate a piano to the orphanage

bestow implies the conveying of something as a gift and may suggest condescension on the part of the giver.

bestow unwanted advice

confer implies a gracious giving (as of a favor or honor).

confer an honorary degree

afford implies a giving or bestowing usually as a natural or legitimate consequence of the character of the giver.

the trees afford shade
a development that affords us some hope

Examples of donate in a Sentence

The computers were donated by local companies. We donated our old clothes to charity. people who donate money to political candidates He donates some of his free time to volunteer work. Everyone is encouraged to donate. People are encouraged to donate blood. Please sign this form if you would like to donate your organs when you die. You can donate at the blood bank every eight weeks. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Participants can donate to a variety of charities in honor of friends and family for the holidays. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Nov. 2023 Warren Buffett has donated more than $870 million in Berkshire Hathaway stock to four charitable foundations, a holiday tradition that underscores the billionaire's pledge to give away most of his wealth to philanthropy. Elizabeth Napolitano, CBS News, 22 Nov. 2023 The group has considered requiring those who want to participate in its nominating convention to donate at least $100, per the Associated Press. Mark Murray, NBC News, 20 Nov. 2023 For every $100 donated, the company relieves $10,000 of medical debt. Andrea Salcedo, Washington Post, 19 Nov. 2023 Here’s what to donate—edible and nonedible items alike. Ali Francis, Bon Appétit, 17 Nov. 2023 In 2021, Bill Gates donated $15 billion; Elon Musk gave $5.7 billion, Jack Dorsey gave $700 million, and Mark Zuckerberg $700 million—but rather than individual charities, those donations all went to the donors’ DAFs or family foundations, IPS notes. Irina Ivanova, Fortune, 15 Nov. 2023 To donate to the Tracie Jada O’Brien Trans* Student Scholarship Fund, visit: Tyler Renner, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Nov. 2023 The donor was a man in his 30s who donated tissue to three other people, as well as James. Jon Lapook, CBS News, 9 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'donate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


back-formation from donation

First Known Use

1785, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of donate was in 1785

Dictionary Entries Near donate

Cite this Entry

“Donate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


do·​nate ˈdō-ˌnāt How to pronounce donate (audio)
donated; donating
: to make a gift of : contribute
donate blood

Legal Definition


donated; donating

transitive verb

: to transfer by a gift or donation

intransitive verb

: to make a donation compare give, sell

More from Merriam-Webster on donate

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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