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 final piece of the puzzle was contributed by the Republic of China: a donation of 120 decorative ceramic tiles made by Chinese artisans depicting parts of Chinese history. Bill Van Niekerken,, "How S.F.’s Dragon Gate came to stand at Grant Avenue and Bush Street," 13 Oct. 2020 The free-access preserve, which encourages a minimum $3 donation, is on pace for 500,000 visitors this year, up from its usual 400,000, manager Cynthia Bennett told me. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, "Dallas nature lovers, come to the aid of overlooked greenspaces facing budget cuts amid pandemic," 9 Oct. 2020 What was at first described as a series of loans became a donation amid the politically uncomfortable perception that the populist billionaire was hoping to have his grass-roots supporters pay him back. Susanne Craig, Mike Mcintire And Russ Buettner, New York Times, "Trump Engineered a Sudden Windfall in 2016 as Campaign Funds Dwindled," 9 Oct. 2020 Tyler Eubanks, who organized the donation drive, made sure Baby Yoda and the note made it to fire crews. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "5-year-old donates Baby Yoda doll to firefighters battling wildfires – and it's a hit among crews," 8 Oct. 2020 Lakeside Community Presbyterian Church holds a donation drive from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at the church, 9908 Channel Road, Lakeside. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "South/East County Happenings, Sept. 24," 24 Sep. 2020 Although the group hasn’t announced another major donation drive yet, members are still collecting donations for individuals in need. oregonlive, "When school districts canceled meal delivery over wildfire smoke, Black moms stepped in to make supply runs," 23 Sep. 2020 The association is partnering with Savers in this donation drive. cleveland, "Shopping locally helps community, businesses and customers: Olmsted Dates and Data," 17 Aug. 2020 About a dozen donations were listed as contributions for the 2019-2020 donation cycle but had a transaction date prior to 2019. Lauryn Schroeder, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Biden leads Trump in San Diego County campaign donations," 3 Oct. 2020

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

19 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Donation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 2020.

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How to pronounce donation (audio)

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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