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 One source of funding for the orchestra is its endowment, which is managed by an independent nonprofit known as the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Foundation. David Lindquist, The Indianapolis Star, "Pandemic woes: Symphony musicians are out of work and lacking health insurance coverage," 30 June 2020 The Swalm family of Houston and New Ulm, Texas gifted TCFV an endowment fund of $5,000,000 in 2005 specifically to benefit domestic violence service providers in the state. Savannah Mehrtens, Houston Chronicle, "Humble nonprofit FamilyTime awarded grant from Texas Council on Family Violence," 25 June 2020 The donation will go toward building the National Pulse Memorial and Museum, as well as creating an endowment in the name of Frank Hernandez, the Calvin Klein store manager who died in the shooting. Eliza Huber, refinery29.com, "Gen Z’s Queer Icons Talk About Pride," 19 June 2020 The Ailey company nearly went bankrupt in 1989, but now will likely weather coronavirus with the aid of a $50 million endowment. Elias Williams, National Geographic, "New York’s arts scene remains shut down indefinitely—can it evolve and survive?," 15 June 2020 In addition, the board agreed to establish a permanent endowment, allocating $3 million to support the university's diversity initiatives. Fox News, "Monmouth University to drop Woodrow Wilson’s name from main campus building," 19 June 2020 Spelman College’s endowment, for example, is around $390 million. BostonGlobe.com, "Netflix’s Hastings donates $120m to fund Black education efforts," 18 June 2020 The median endowment across all of the country's HBCUs is $15.7 million compared to $36.8 million for predominantly white institutions (PWI). Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Netflix CEO and his wife give $120 million to HBCUs," 17 June 2020 Former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has established a $300,000 scholarship endowment at his alma mater, Saint Louis High School, in Honolulu. Mike Rodak | Mrodak@al.com, al, "Tua Tagovailoa establishes $300,000 scholarship endowment for high school," 16 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for endowment

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

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Last Updated

4 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Endowment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/endowment. Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for endowment


How to pronounce endowment (audio)

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



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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