en·​dow·​ment | \ in-ˈdau̇-mənt How to pronounce endowment (audio) , en-\

Definition of endowment

1 : the act or process of endowing
2 : something that is endowed specifically : the part of an institution's income derived from donations
3 : natural capacity, power, or ability a person of great intellectual endowment

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Examples of endowment in a Sentence

The hospital's endowment was established by a local family. The college has a large endowment. the endowment of a hospital wing
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Recent Examples on the Web

Now, the endowment is at its highest level in recent history — nearly $7 million. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego Opera leaders optimistic on future despite impending budget deficit," 14 July 2019 Madi has an endowment in her name worth more than $1 million to help fund the program, and Terri sits on the charity’s board of directors. Greg Luca, ExpressNews.com, "Daughter of UTSA basketball assistant coach an inspiration despite disability," 14 July 2019 With its oil and gas investments, the University of Texas system's endowment, which stands at an impressive $31 billion, is only second in size to Harvard University's, according to a December 2018 Bloomberg report. Michelle Lou, CNN, "University of Texas to cover tuition at flagship campus for students from low-income families," 9 July 2019 The allocation will create an endowment in which the money is invested and interest and earnings are used to fund the tuition costs in perpetuity. Dallas News, "UT-Austin promises free tuition to students with family income less than $65,000 in 2020," 9 July 2019 The philanthropic organization, which was established by Jesse and Mary Gibbs Jones in 1937 and has an endowment valued at $1.8 billion, purchased land earlier this year near Spotts Park where its new headquarters is planned. Nancy Sarnoff, Houston Chronicle, "Houston Endowment on global search for architects for new headquarters," 13 June 2019 The seminary's endowment is approximately $95 million, according to the school. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Leaders of Southern Baptist seminary with slavery ties reject a call for reparations," 6 June 2019 The income from the mineral rights generates annual revenue averaging nearly $15 million in recent years and has funded an endowment now valued at $230 million, according to financial documents. Anchorage Daily News, "W. Virgnia bishop spent millions on himself and sent cash to priests he was accused of mistreating, Vatican report says," 5 June 2019 Prato and Moran cited mounting maintenance needs and increasing financial pressure on the nonprofit’s small endowment. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "James J. Hill Center will continue as a nonprofit, even if building may not," 24 June 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for endowment

Last Updated

19 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for endowment

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

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More Definitions for endowment



Financial Definition of endowment

What It Is

An endowment is any asset donated to and for the perpetual benefit of a non-profit institution. The donation is usually made with the requirement that the principal remain intact and money earned from investing the principal be used for a specific purpose.

How It Works

In the broadest sense, an endowment is a donation that is given to a non-profit institution on the condition that it is used for the benefit of that organization. Most endowments are designed to provide a permanent source of income by keeping the original amount invested and using the accrued income from dividends for its charitable purpose.

An example of an endowment is a sizable donation to a university on the condition that it is invested and that the proceeds from the investment are used for an annual undergraduate scholarship.

Why It Matters

Endowments are given to non-profit organizations with the intention that they be used to advance the mission of the organization for the long term. Endowments of large institutions, such as major private universities, sometimes become significant players in the financial world due to the significant amount of money that the endowment is investing.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of endowment

: a large amount of money that has been given to a school, hospital, etc., and that is used to pay for its creation and continuing support
: the act of providing money to create or support a school, organization, etc.
: a person's natural ability or talent


en·​dow·​ment | \ in-ˈdau̇-mənt How to pronounce endowment (audio) \

Kids Definition of endowment

1 : the act of providing money for support
2 : money provided for support a college's endowment

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Legal Definition of endowment

1 : the act or process of endowing
2 : a result or product of endowing: as
a : the income of an institution derived from donations the university's ability to attract endowment
b : the property (as a fund) donated to an institution or organization that is invested and producing income an endowment to maintain the gallery
3 : an endowed organization or institution : foundation chairwoman of the state's arts endowment

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Comments on endowment

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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