do·​nor | \ ˈdō-nər How to pronounce donor (audio) , -ˌnȯr\

Definition of donor

1 : one that gives, donates, or presents something
2 : one used as a source of biological material (such as blood or an organ)
3a : a compound capable of giving up a part (such as an atom, chemical group, or subatomic particle) for combination with an acceptor
b : an impurity added to a semiconductor to increase the number of mobile electrons

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Examples of donor in a Sentence

The money was raised from individual donors. She is one of the charity's major donors.

Recent Examples on the Web

SpaceIL is a small nonprofit with a budget of about $100 million, nearly all raised by private donors. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "SpaceIL's Beresheet Spacecraft Fails To Reach the Moon," 11 Apr. 2019 Washington’s Israel lobby, led by Aipac, differs from many other foreign-nation influence groups in that it is fueled by American donors and activists while also hiring professional lobbyists. Natalie Andrews, WSJ, "Pro-Israel Group Lobbies for U.S. Aid, Funds Congressional Trips," 14 Feb. 2019 Election issues Questions about campaign finance and spending by donors who don't reveal their identities may return to the court. Merdie Nzanga, USA TODAY, "Key issues await the Supreme Court and its newest justice," 9 July 2018 The cost associated with these five tigers’ (and other wild animals’) rescue, rehab and transport is daunting, and currently being covered by generous donors. Saryn Chorney,, "Five Rescued Circus Tigers Get a New Lease on Life as Retirees at U.K.'s Isle of Wight Zoo," 21 June 2018 Contributions are being matched up to $250,000 by several private donors., "How People Are Using Fundraisers To Fight Trump's Family Separation Policy," 19 June 2018 The $400,000 project was funded mostly by individual donors, Runco said. Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News, "Spreading their wings: Bird TLC is getting a home of its own," 13 June 2018 Most schemes in Africa are focused on rural people and many are temporary, often implemented by donors in response to natural disasters or conflict. The Economist, "Ethiopia’s scheme to help the poor is setting an example," 31 May 2018 Other ads are being coordinated with campaigns relying on their own legal interpretation to sidestep laws and rules intended to place limits on ad campaigns being funded by large donors. Gary Fineout,, "Expensive Florida governor's race highlights lax laws," 21 May 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for donor

Middle English donoure, from Anglo-French doneur, from Latin donator, from donare

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Statistics for donor

Last Updated

12 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for donor

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

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More Definitions for donor



English Language Learners Definition of donor

: a person or group that gives something (such as money, food, or clothes) in order to help a person or organization
: a person who gives something (such as blood or a body organ) so that it can be given to someone who needs it


do·​nor | \ ˈdō-nər How to pronounce donor (audio) \

Kids Definition of donor

: a person who donates


do·​nor | \ ˈdō-nər How to pronounce donor (audio) , -ˌnȯ(ə)r How to pronounce donor (audio) \

Medical Definition of donor

1 : one used as a source of biological material (as blood or an organ)
2 : a compound capable of giving up a part (as an atom, chemical group, or elementary particle) for combination with an acceptor

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do·​nor | \ ˈdō-nər, -ˌnȯr How to pronounce donor (audio) \

Legal Definition of donor

: one that gives, donates, grants, or confers something specifically : settlor

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More from Merriam-Webster on donor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with donor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for donor

Spanish Central: Translation of donor

Nglish: Translation of donor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of donor for Arabic Speakers

Comments on donor

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


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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