do·​na·​tion | \ dō-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce donation (audio) \

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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, celebrated Mother's Day in the U.S. this weekend by making a donation to help disadvantaged mothers in their new home in California. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Celebrated Mother's Day by Helping Unhoused Mothers," 9 May 2021 Australian Pat Cummins was praised for sticking around, making a large donation, and expressing sympathy with India on social media. Hasit Shah, Quartz, "With the IPL’s suspension, the Covid-19 crisis has finally infiltrated India’s biggest sport," 4 May 2021 An independent expenditure is used by groups or individuals who are separate from campaigns in order to support a campaign without making a direct donation. Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, "As thousands flow into Anchorage mayor’s race from Outside, Dunbar files complaint against group supporting Bronson," 1 May 2021 These five hosts will be behind the lectern for an entire week of episodes (or five episodes) each, and as with all previous guest hosts, the show will compensate them by making a donation to their charity of choice. Devon Ivie, Vulture, "LeVar Burton Will Fly Twice As High As Jeopardy!’s Next Guest Host," 21 Apr. 2021 Other ways to help include making a financial donation at or making an appointment to donate blood at Carol Kovach, cleveland, "Former Café Stratos to get new life as seafood eatery: A Place in the Sun," 19 Apr. 2021 Members of the public are asked to avoid gathering in crowds and consider making a donation to charity in lieu of floral tributes, according to a statement from Buckingham Palace. Charles Trepany, USA TODAY, "Prince Philip's funeral: When is it? Will it be on TV? More pressing questions, answered," 16 Apr. 2021 For more information For more information about making a donation or sponsoring a bag for $150 for a first responder, visit Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Germantown police officers to have Reach-A-Child book bags in their cars to help children in crisis," 14 Apr. 2021 In addition to the shirts, the Pedigree brand and Dollar General are making a donation in celebration of Sisu to the Duplin County Animal Shelter and Lab Rescue LRCP, where Sisu is spending some time before moving into his forever home. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Proceeds from Shirt Honoring Stray and His Beloved Unicorn Benefit Rescue Dogs," 12 Apr. 2021

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for donation

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for donation

Last Updated

17 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Donation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce donation (audio) \

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

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