do·​na·​tion dō-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce donation (audio)
: the act or an instance of donating: such as
: the making of a gift especially to a charity or public institution
: a free contribution : gift

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
Recent Examples on the Web Los Angeles County supervisors requested an investigation into the Los Angeles County Fire Department Foundation after learning that the charity may have collected donations months after the state barred it from fundraising. Ryan Fonseca, Los Angeles Times, 22 Nov. 2023 Prizes will include donations from Escondido businesses. Carlos Rico, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Nov. 2023 Food for Others, the Fairfax food bank, has managed to keep up with needs so far thanks to early planning and generous community donations, Executive Director Deborah Haynes said. Danny Nguyen, Washington Post, 20 Nov. 2023 And they were overwhelmed by the generosity of veteran guild members who have the means to pay for a food truck for a day or make other substantial donations that made a difference for members overall. Cynthia Littleton, Variety, 18 Nov. 2023 With annual expenses set to hit $50 million by 2025, the nonprofit expects to rely more heavily on user donations to keep Signal going strong. WIRED, 18 Nov. 2023 Brown’s family asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the Lung Cancer Society of America in his honor. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 17 Nov. 2023 The company had pledged and completed large donations to the UCLA children's hospital before. Emily Mae Czachor, CBS News, 15 Nov. 2023 Supporters have already raised roughly $450,000 to $500,000, including in-kind donations, to construct a permanent home for the Arkansas Prison Initiative. Frank E. Lockwood,, 11 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near donation

Cite this Entry

“Donation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


do·​na·​tion dō-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce donation (audio)
: a giving of something without charge
also : the thing given (as to charity)

Legal Definition


: the making of an especially charitable gift
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
: something that is transferred by a donation

More from Merriam-Webster on donation

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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