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
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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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
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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
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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
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