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 march in Washington was planned to culminate at the National Mall where organizers hoped to hold a virtual text banking telethon to send 5 million text messages to encourage people to vote. Grace Hauck, USA TODAY, "As hundreds gather for Women's March to protest Trump and Barrett's nomination, dozens expected to rally in support," 17 Oct. 2020 To viewers, White was the well-groomed and unflappable professional who could cover everything from a plane crash to a telethon to where to find the best bowl of chili in town. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Obituary: 1939-2020: Beloved TV anchorman Jack White recalled as the face of San Diego news," 6 Nov. 2020 Despite having the look and feel of a telethon, the show was a hit. Nathan Whitlock, The New York Review of Books, "Where Health Care Is a Human Right," 3 Nov. 2020 The comedian will take the helm of the Muscular Dystrophy Association's telethon that was hosted for decades by the late Jerry Lewis. Chloe Melas, CNN, "Kevin Hart is ready for the revived MDA telethon," 24 Oct. 2020 Church members opted instead to hold an online silent auction followed by a live-streamed telethon at 5 p.m. Oct. 17. Diane Bell Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: El Cajon centenarian celebrates right to vote," 9 Oct. 2020 At times, the online broadcast mirrored a telethon or pledge drive, with DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin thanking contributors in real time as a meter showing donation levels appeared on the screen. Torey Van Oot Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Harris: The path to the presidency 'runs straight through Minnesota'," 1 Oct. 2020 Due to social distancing, most of the telethon will be pre-recorded. Elizabeth Montgomery, The Arizona Republic, "Emma Stone, Chelsea Kane to help Valley Youth Theatre raise money during virtual telethon," 22 Aug. 2020 Their latest venture is a fashion collection, which will be revealed during their September 19 music performance and telethon to raise money for the Ali Forney Center for homeless LBGTQ youth. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Inspired by Club Kids, a New Collection by Veronika Vilim, Chase Noelle, and Lida Fox Is Something to Dance About," 19 Sep. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of telethon

1949, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for telethon

tele- + -athon

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Time Traveler for telethon

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The first known use of telethon was in 1949

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Last Updated

30 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Telethon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for telethon


How to pronounce telethon (audio)

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

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