do·na·tion | \ dō-ˈnā-shən \

Definition of donation 

: the act or an instance of donating: such as

a : the making of a gift especially to a charity or public institution

b : a free contribution : gift

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of donation in a Sentence

The organization is funded by private donations. We are grateful for the donation of whatever you can afford to give. trying to encourage the donation of blood
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Willington Senior Center, 20 Senior Way, Willington, CT 06279 or to the Willington Public Library, 7 Ruby Rd. Hartford Courant,, "Sydney R. Goodrich," 14 July 2018 Memorial donations may be made to Holy Cross Hospital, 4725 N. Federal Hwy., "Deaths in South Florida: 7/14," 14 July 2018 Memorial donations in memory of Ed can be made to St Stephen Catholic Community Outreach Program or Associates Program., "Deaths in Central Florida: 7/14," 14 July 2018 In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to River Bridge Regional Center for Abused Children in Glenwood Springs Co., which was founded by Perry and his wife. Dave Mcnary,, "Roger Perry, 'The Facts of Life' and 'Harrigan and Son' actor, dies at 85," 13 July 2018 Raber, along with The Center’s executive director Dave Sanders, are overseeing the project, with equipment and labor donations coming from within the fellowship as well as across the country. Donna Vickroy, Daily Southtown, "The Center's new commercial-grade kitchen to honor Homer Glen man who battled heroin addiction," 14 July 2018 As of Friday, more than $160,000 was raised for the family through a donation website. Max Bayer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Mourners, including 700 uniformed officers, turn out to honor firefighter killed in blast," 14 July 2018 Real estate donations to the IU Foundation have come from as far away as the Bahamas, Kavgian said. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "These donors love their alma maters so much they gave them the roofs over their heads," 13 July 2018 The Easton Food Pantry received a $2,000 donation from the Chamber of Commerce to continue providing food to residents in need., "Tea by the sea, Korean peace medals, and $2,000 to fight hunger," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'donation.' 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 donation

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for donation

Middle English donatyowne, from Latin donation-, donatio, from donare to present, from donum gift; akin to Latin dare to give — more at date

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about donation

Phrases Related to donation

make a donation

Statistics for donation

Last Updated

8 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for donation

The first known use of donation was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for donation



English Language Learners Definition of donation

: something (such as money, food, clothes, etc.) that you give in order to help a person or organization

: something (such as blood or a body organ) that you give to a hospital or clinic so that it can be given to someone who needs it


do·na·tion | \ dō-ˈnā-shən \

Kids Definition of donation

: something given to help those in need a donation to charity



Legal Definition of donation 

1 : the making of an especially charitable gift

2 in the civil law of Louisiana : a voluntary transfer of ownership of property from one person to another — compare sale

disguised donation

: a transfer of property (as a sale) that does not have a sufficient reciprocal consideration (as a proportional price) so that it is considered a gratuitous donation and must meet the statutory requirements for a donation (as a notarial act) to be valid

called also donation in disguise

— compare simulation

donation inter vivos \-ˌin-tər-ˈvī-ˌvōs, -ˌin-ter-ˈvē-ˌvōs \

: a donation that transfers property owned by the donor and that takes effect upon the donee's acceptance — compare gift inter vivos at gift

donation mortis causa \-ˈmȯr-tis-ˈkȯ-zə, -ˈmȯr-tēs-ˈkau̇-sä \

: a donation that is to take effect on the donor's death and that is revocable — compare gift causa mortis at gift

3 : something that is transferred by a donation

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on donation

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


alleviating pain or harshness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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