tele·​thon | \ ˈte-lə-ˌthän How to pronounce telethon (audio) \

Definition of telethon

: a long television program usually to solicit funds especially for a charity

Examples of telethon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The telethon aired on several cable networks and also streamed live to Parton's Facebook page. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "Dolly Parton Raises $9 Million and Counting for Wildfire Victims During Star-Studded Telethon," 16 Dec. 2016 The telethon works, the team is saved, Indianapolis remains a viable major-league sports city – and soon the Baltimore Colts are moving downtown. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: Bobby and Nancy Leonard's love story helped save the Indiana Pacers," 27 June 2018 Sadeghi worked with Paltrow on the Stand Up 2 Cancer telethon and became a mentor. Marisa Meltzer, Town & Country, "How Habib Sadeghi Became a Guru For the Goop Set," 23 Apr. 2018 Dylan and Friedman appeared three times on the annual Chabad charity fundraising telethons in Los Angeles in the late-1980s and early 1990s. George Varga,, "Kinky Friedman explains how Willie Nelson and misery inspired his new album," 14 Apr. 2018 In one of his regular telethons last year, Putin promised a caller from the Moscow region town of Balashikha that a nearby garbage dump making residents' lives miserable would be shut down. Fred Weir, The Christian Science Monitor, "Russian consumerism may be poisoning this town. But nascent civil society is pushing back.," 12 Apr. 2018 The country crooner and Oscar winner first met at NBC's Concert of Hope tsunami telethon in January of 2005, according to People. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Remember When Kenny Chesney Married Renee Zellweger?," 11 Apr. 2018 In addition to donating $1 million to help rebuild Puerto Rico after last year’s devastating hurricane, Lopez hosted a benefit telethon with Rodriguez and Marc Anthony that raised more than $35 million for disaster relief. Harper's BAZAAR, "J. Lo's Flying High," 15 Mar. 2018 The exhaustion of this performance journey, more extreme than a Jerry Lewis telethon, isn't the price one pays for the artistic experience but an inseparable part of a work that is constructed as a communal ritual. Charles Mcnulty,, "Taylor Mac on gay history, 'Hamilton' and his epic 24-hour extravaganza at the Ace," 14 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'telethon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of telethon

1949, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for telethon

tele- + -athon

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about telethon

Statistics for telethon

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for telethon

The first known use of telethon was in 1949

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for telethon



English Language Learners Definition of telethon

: a long television program that tries to raise money for a charity by asking people to call during the program and make a donation

More from Merriam-Webster on telethon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with telethon

Comments on telethon

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


a secret plot to overthrow a government

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!