noun, plural charities.
generous actions or donations to aid the poor, ill, or helpless: to devote one's life to charity.
something given to a person or persons in need; alms: She asked for work, not charity.
a charitable act or work.
a charitable fund, foundation, or institution: He left his estate to a charity.
benevolent feeling, especially toward those in need or in disfavor: She looked so poor that we fed her out of charity.
leniency in judging others; forbearance: She was inclined to view our selfish behavior with charity.
Christian love; agape.

1125–75; Middle English charite < Old French < Latin cāritāt- (stem of cāritās), equivalent to cār(us) dear (akin to caress, cherish, Kama, whore) + -itāt- -ity

charityless, adjective
overcharity, noun
procharity, adjective

5. kindliness, consideration, humanity, benignity, sympathy.

5. malevolence. Unabridged


a female given name. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To charity
World English Dictionary
charity (ˈtʃærɪtɪ)
n , pl -ties
1.  a.  the giving of help, money, food, etc, to those in need
 b.  (as modifier): a charity show
2.  a.  an institution or organization set up to provide help, money, etc, to those in need
 b.  (as modifier): charity funds
3.  the help, money, etc, given to the needy; alms
4.  a kindly and lenient attitude towards people
5.  love of one's fellow men
[C13: from Old French charite, from Latin cāritās affection, love, from cārus dear]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1137, "benevolence for the poor," from O.Fr. charite, from L. caritas (acc. caritatem) "costliness, esteem, affection" (in Vulgate often used as translation of Gk. agape "love" -- especially Christian love of fellow man -- perhaps to avoid the sexual suggestion of L. amor), from carus "dear, valued,"
from PIE *karo-, from base *ka- "to like, desire" (see whore). Vulgate also sometimes translated agape by L. dilectio, n. of action from diligere "to esteem highly, to love."
"Wyclif and the Rhemish version regularly rendered the Vulgate dilectio by 'love,' caritas by 'charity.' But the 16th c. Eng. versions from Tindale to 1611, while rendering agape sometimes 'love,' sometimes 'charity,' did not follow the dilectio and caritas of the Vulgate, but used 'love' more often (about 86 times), confining 'charity' to 26 passages in the Pauline and certain of the Catholic Epistles (not in I John), and the Apocalypse .... In the Revised Version 1881, 'love' has been substituted in all these instances, so that it now stands as the uniform rendering of agape." [OED]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Computing Dictionary

CHARITY definition

A functional language based purely on category theory by Cockett, Spencer, and Fukushima, 1990-1991.
A version for Sun-4 is available from Tom Fukushima
["About Charity", J.R.B. Cockett, U. Calgary, Canada, et al].
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
Cite This Source
Bible Dictionary

Charity definition

(1 Cor. 13), the rendering in the Authorized Version of the word which properly denotes love, and is frequently so rendered (always so in the Revised Version). It is spoken of as the greatest of the three Christian graces (1 Cor. 12:31-13:13).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica


in Christian thought, the highest form of love, signifying the reciprocal love between God and man that is made manifest in unselfish love of one's fellow men. St. Paul's classical description of charity is found in the New Testament (I Cor. 13). In Christian theology and ethics, charity (a translation of the Greek word agape, also meaning "love") is most eloquently shown in the life, teachings, and death of Jesus Christ. St. Augustine summarized much of Christian thought about charity when he wrote: "Charity is a virtue which, when our affections are perfectly ordered, unites us to God, for by it we love him." Using this definition and others from the Christian tradition, the medieval theologians, especially St. Thomas Aquinas, placed charity in the context of the other Christian virtues and specified its role as "the foundation or root" of them all

Learn more about charity with a free trial on

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences for charity
When he was seventeen, he opened his first charity, the student advisory centre.
His friends quickly chided and mocked him for his act of charity.
The school holds various charity events and selects two school charities per
He is vicechairman of the wild trout trust conservation charity.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature