do·​na·​tion dō-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce donation (audio)
: the act or an instance of donating: such as
: the making of a gift especially to a charity or public institution
: a free contribution : gift

Example Sentences

The organization is funded by private donations. We are grateful for the donation of whatever you can afford to give. trying to encourage the donation of blood
Recent Examples on the Web The best defense against this type of scam, Roundy said, is to not try to make a donation through a link in an email, text or social media post. Jon Healey, Los Angeles Times, 22 Nov. 2022 Residents can vote for their favorite by scanning the QR code that accompanies the entry at the library or by going online at to click on a favorite and make a donation. Mike Danahey, Chicago Tribune, 18 Nov. 2022 The obituary does not list a cause of death, but has called on mourners to make a donation in Herrin's memory to the American Cancer Society to support prevention research and treatment of breast cancer. Jessica Wang,, 16 Nov. 2022 There, Smith, 24, a junior account executive at a PR firm, found an ADHD influencer named Katie Sue, an appealing young woman with a big smile, a lot of what felt like answers, and — on her website — a link to make a donation. Beth Teitell,, 15 Nov. 2022 Visit online for more information or to make a monetary donation. John Benson, cleveland, 15 Nov. 2022 Donate a frozen turkey or other Thanksgiving food, or make a cash donation. Endia Fontanez, The Arizona Republic, 11 Nov. 2022 The deal called for the prince to make a substantial donation to Giuffre's charity. CBS News, 8 Nov. 2022 As part of the honor, the NFLPA will make a $10,000 donation to Athletes For Charity. Jaylon Thompson, USA TODAY, 27 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History


Middle English donatyowne, from Latin donation-, donatio, from donare to present, from donum gift; akin to Latin dare to give — more at date

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of donation was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near donation

Cite this Entry

“Donation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



do·​na·​tion dō-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce donation (audio)
: a giving of something without charge
also : the thing given (as to charity)

Legal Definition



: the making of an especially charitable gift
in the civil law of Louisiana : a voluntary transfer of ownership of property from one person to another compare sale
disguised donation
: a transfer of property (as a sale) that does not have a sufficient reciprocal consideration (as a proportional price) so that it is considered a gratuitous donation and must meet the statutory requirements for a donation (as a notarial act) to be valid

called also donation in disguise

compare simulation
donation inter vivos \ -​ˌin-​tər-​ˈvī-​ˌvōs, -​ˌin-​ter-​ˈvē-​ˌvōs \
: a donation that transfers property owned by the donor and that takes effect upon the donee's acceptance compare gift inter vivos at gift
donation mortis causa \ -​ˈmȯr-​tis-​ˈkȯ-​zə, -​ˈmȯr-​tēs-​ˈkau̇-​sä \
: a donation that is to take effect on the donor's death and that is revocable compare gift causa mortis at gift
: something that is transferred by a donation

More from Merriam-Webster on donation

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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