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

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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

Democrats are hitting Coffman on his votes for the tax bill and Obamacare repeal, as well as his donations from the National Rifle Association. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "The 16 most interesting House races of 2018," 6 Nov. 2018 There are zero smoke and mirrors involved with your donation. Jesa Marie Calaor, Allure, "9 Beauty Products Supporting 2018's Breast Cancer Awareness Month (and How Much They're Donating)," 11 Oct. 2018 Her donation of the specimen to the Dexu Institute of Paleontology in Chaozhou, China, allowed for the scientists to study it. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Oldest Ever Baby Snake Discovered in Forest Amber," 19 July 2018 O'Rourke's campaign said that about 70 percent of his donations are continuing to come from Texas, and the candidate told supporters Wednesday night that the average contribution was $33. Patrick Svitek, star-telegram, "Beto O’Rourke raises $10.4 million in second quarter in race against Ted Cruz," 11 July 2018 His donation is just one of over a thousand that have been made to support Barr's family during this tragedy. Taylor Palmby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "J.J. Watt donates $10,000 to support family of firefighter killed in Sun Prairie explosion," 11 July 2018 In lieu of flowers, his family requests donations be made to Boy Scout Troop 256, c/o Caroline Wojcicki, 94 Hickory Hill Road, Berlin, CT 06037. Hartford Courant,, "Richard E. Bober," 6 July 2018 Patriots owner Robert Kraft for giving to a very worthy cause, with his donation to Team Super Bowlen this week, as part of the 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Albert Breer,, "How a Soldier’s Story Helped Dan Quinn Build the Falcons," 2 July 2018 Their annual reports also group donors by the approximate size of their donation—without listing the exact amounts. Jeffrey Mervis, Science | AAAS, "U.S. lawmakers want NIH and CDC foundations to say more about donors," 29 June 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.

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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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Statistics for donation

Last Updated

17 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for donation

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

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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 \

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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Comments on donation

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