What does charity mean?

Definitions for charity
ˈtʃær ɪ tichar·i·ty

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word charity.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. charitynoun

    a foundation created to promote the public good (not for assistance to any particular individuals)

  2. charity, brotherly lovenoun

    a kindly and lenient attitude toward people

  3. charitynoun

    an activity or gift that benefits the public at large

  4. Jacob's ladder, Greek valerian, charity, Polemonium caeruleum, Polemonium van-bruntiae, Polymonium caeruleum van-bruntiaenoun

    pinnate-leaved European perennial having bright blue or white flowers

  5. charitynoun

    an institution set up to provide help to the needy


  1. charitynoun

    Christian love; representing God's love of man, man's love of God, or man's love of his fellow-men.

  2. charitynoun

    In general, an attitude of kindness and understanding towards others, now especially suggesting generosity.

    Judge thyself with the judgment of sincerity, and thou will judge others with the judgment of charity. uE000163396uE001 John Mitchell Mason

  3. charitynoun

    Benevolence to others less fortunate than ourselves; the providing of goods or money to those in need.

  4. charitynoun

    The goods or money given to those in need.

  5. charitynoun

    An organization, the objective of which is to carry out a charitable purpose.

  6. Charitynoun

    A female given name from English.

  7. Charitynoun

    The 107th sura of the Qur'an.

  8. Etymology: From charity in the Biblical sense of Christian love; first used by Puritans. In early Christian tradition, Faith, Hope and Charity were the martyred daughters of Saint Sophia. The names, taken from 1 Corinthians 13:13 ("And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity") have been translated and used in many languages.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. CHARITYnoun

    Etymology: charité, Fr. charitas, Lat.

    By thee,
    Founded in reason, loyal, just, and pure,
    Relations dear, and all the charities
    Of father, son, and brother, first were known. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. iv. l. 756.

    My errours, I hope, are only those of charity to mankind, and such as my own charity has caused me to commit, that of others may more easily excuse. John Dryden, Religio Laici, Preface.

    Concerning charity, the final object whereof is that incomprehensible beauty which shineth in the countenance of Christ, the Son of the living God. Richard Hooker, b. i. p. 38.

    Peace, peace, for shame, if not for charity. ——
    —— Urge neither charity nor shame to me;
    Uncharitably with me have you dealt. William Shakespeare, Richard III.

    Only add
    Deeds to thy knowledge answerable, add faith;
    Add virtue, patience, temperance, add love,
    By name to come call’d charity, the soul
    Of all the rest. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. xii. l. 584.

    Faith believes the revelations of God; hope expects his promises; charity loves his excellencies and mercies. Taylor.

    But lasting charity ’s more ample sway,
    Nor bound by time, nor subject to decay,
    In happy triumph shall for ever live. Matthew Prior.

    Charity, or a love of God, which works by a love of our neighbour, is greater than faith or hope. Francis Atterbury.

    The heathen poet, in commending the charity of Dido to the Trojans, spoke like a christian. John Dryden, Fables, Dedicat.

    We must incline to the king; I will look for him, and privily relieve him; go you and maintain talk with the duke, that my charity be not of him perceived. William Shakespeare, K. Lear.

    The ant did well to reprove the grasshopper for her slothfulness; but she did ill then to refuse her a charity in her distress. Roger L'Estrange.


  1. charity

    Charity is an act of giving, kindness, or generosity, typically involves providing help or support in the form of money, time, goods or services to those in need, often through an established organization. It can also refer to the organizations themselves that are established to aid people experiencing poverty, diseases, or any form of distress. Beyond material aid, charity can also refer to an overall benevolent and kind nature towards others.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Charitynoun

    love; universal benevolence; good will

  2. Charitynoun

    liberality in judging of men and their actions; a disposition which inclines men to put the best construction on the words and actions of others

  3. Charitynoun

    liberality to the poor and the suffering, to benevolent institutions, or to worthy causes; generosity

  4. Charitynoun

    whatever is bestowed gratuitously on the needy or suffering for their relief; alms; any act of kindness

  5. Charitynoun

    a charitable institution, or a gift to create and support such an institution; as, Lady Margaret's charity

  6. Charitynoun

    eleemosynary appointments [grants or devises] including relief of the poor or friendless, education, religious culture, and public institutions


  1. Charity

    In Christian theology charity, latin caritas, is by Thomas Aquinas understood as "the friendship of man for God", which "unites us to God". He holds it as "the most excellent of the virtues". Further, Aquinas holds that "the habit of charity extends not only to the love of God, but also to the love of our neighbor". Some delineate charity to mean only benevolent giving, while others, such as Roman Catholics, have multiple interrelated meanings.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Charity

    char′i-ti, n. (N.T.) universal love: the disposition to think favourably of others, and do them good: almsgiving: (pl.) affections.—adj. Char′itable, of or relating to charity: liberal to the poor.—n. Char′itableness.—adv. Char′itably.—Cold as charity, an ironical phrase implying the coldness of much so-called charity, which should naturally be warm. [Fr. charité—L. caritat-em, carus, dear.]

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. charity

    1. A thing that begins at home, and usually stays there. 2. Bracing up Ralph Waldo Emerson's reputation by attributing to him literary mousetraps which he should have made, but didn't. (See Cheese.)

Suggested Resources

  1. charity

    Song lyrics by charity -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by charity on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Charity is ranked #17428 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Charity surname appeared 1,619 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 1 would have the surname Charity.

    69.9% or 1,133 total occurrences were Black.
    20.9% or 339 total occurrences were White.
    5.6% or 92 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    1.6% or 26 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    0.9% or 16 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    0.8% or 13 total occurrences were Asian.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'charity' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2911

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'charity' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2981

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'charity' in Nouns Frequency: #1026

How to pronounce charity?

How to say charity in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of charity in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of charity in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of charity in a Sentence

  1. Richard Baxter:

    In necessary things, unity in doubtful things, liberty in all things, charity.

  2. Prince Harry:

    I’m somewhat ashamed of the way that I dealt with it, and of course, because of the system that we were in and the responsibilities and the duties that we had, we had a quick cuddle and then we had to get changed to jump in a convoy with a police escort and drive to the Royal Albert Hall for a charity event. Then step out into a wall of cameras and pretend as though everything’s OK.

  3. Matthew Ferazzi:

    They were riding for good, they were riding for charity. They were riding to help people. My dad was a public servant his entire life. He helped people his entire life. Thats all he knew.

  4. Proverb:

    If charity cost nothing and benevolence caused no heartache, the world would be full of philanthropists.

  5. Luke Schneider:

    We choose a different charity about every other month.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for charity

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • welwillendheidsorganisasieAfrikaans
  • صدقة, إحسانArabic
  • благотворителност, благотворителна организация, милосърдиеBulgarian
  • dobročinnost, charitaCzech
  • velgørenhedDanish
  • Wohltätigkeitsorganisation, Nächstenliebe, WohltätigkeitGerman
  • αγαθοεργία, καλοσύνη, φιλανθρωπίαGreek
  • entidad benéfica, caridad, amor al prójimoSpanish
  • خیرات, صدقهPersian
  • hyväntekeväisyys, hyväntekeväisyysjärjestö, armeliaisuusFinnish
  • charitéFrench
  • caridadeGalician
  • צדקהHebrew
  • दानHindi
  • jótékonyságHungarian
  • amalIndonesian
  • góðgerðarstofnun, góðgerðarstarfsemiIcelandic
  • carità, organizzazione benefica, ente di beneficenzaItalian
  • צדקהHebrew
  • 慈善Japanese
  • қайырымдылықKazakh
  • ದಾನKannada
  • 慈善, 자선Korean
  • caritateLatin
  • labdarībaLatvian
  • добротворна организација, добротворност, добротворен прилог, милосрдиеMacedonian
  • naastenliefde, liefdadigheidsinstelling, liefdadigheidDutch
  • veldedighetNorwegian
  • caritatOccitan
  • dobroczynnośćPolish
  • [[instituição]] [[de]] [[caridade]], doação, caridadePortuguese
  • caritateRomanian
  • благотворительное общество, богадельня, милостыня, милосердие, благотворительностьRussian
  • dobrodavanje, dobrodavati, dobrodavstvoSerbo-Croatian
  • välgörenhetsorganisation, välgörenhet, välgSwedish
  • தொண்டுTamil
  • sadakaTurkish
  • благодійністьUkrainian
  • صدقہUrdu

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"charity." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 25 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/charity>.

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1 Comment
  • Lee Brock
    Lee Brock
    that my husband, and my friend, Married 16yr.
    LikeReply5 years ago

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interchangeable with `means' in the expression `by means of'
A helm
B leaven
C dint
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