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

The organ, a donor kidney sent to doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center, was successfully transplanted into a a 44-year-old woman's body. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "This Drone Just Successfully Delivered a Transplant Kidney for the First Time Ever," 2 May 2019 Individual donors can’t typically do much to speed search-and-rescue efforts. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "Why disaster relief is so hard," 25 Mar. 2019 Contributions in his memory may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice., "Deaths in South Florida: 7/13," 13 July 2018 The school, the Arrow Center for Education Tangram School, reached more than half its $200,000 funding goal from foundations and donors familiar with the school between July 3 and July 10. Leah Brennan,, "Towson school begins fundraising for outdoor space designed for students with special needs," 10 July 2018 Fans, alumni and donors crowded into the spaces eager to mingle with the university’s top coaches. Kelli Stacy,, "Historically Low Attendance At UConn Men's Basketball, Football Games As Programs Try To Rebuild," 10 July 2018 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

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

26 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 strong desire or propensity

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