Definition of charity in English:


Syllabification: char·i·ty
Pronunciation: /ˈCHerədē

noun (plural charities)

1The voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need.
More example sentences
  • Second, the personal connection at the heart of private charity cannot be reproduced by government.
  • I just came across this paper by Gruber and Hungerman on the crowding out of private sector charity by government spending.
  • A fourth way to provide security in a free society is by voluntary charity.
financial assistance, aid, welfare, relief, financial relief;
historical alms
1.1Help or money given voluntarily to those in need: an unemployed teacher living on charity
More example sentences
  • Giving of private charity obviously has a ‘feel good’ factor to it.
  • Those who cannot perform work are left to private charity, which often means begging.
  • Lepers were separated in leper hospitals built with private charity because people were afraid of defilement.
2An organization set up to provide help and raise money for those in need.
More example sentences
  • Without your support, the services that charities provide could come to an end.
  • He now appears at pubs and clubs across Europe and raises money for cancer charities.
  • The branch also raises money for local charities and at one stage put on shows for the local community.
nonprofit organization, voluntary organization, charitable institution;
fund, trust, foundation;
2.1The body of organizations viewed collectively as the object of fundraising or donations: the proceeds of the sale will go to charity
More example sentences
  • Cash will be the vital ingredient as celebrity chefs cook up a special fundraising treat for charity.
  • During those years we shared many experiences particularly when fundraising for charity.
  • There have been over a hundred performances so far, several of them as fund-raising ventures for charity.
3Kindness and tolerance in judging others: she found it hard to look on her mother with much charity
More example sentences
  • As a result, he is punished with terrible visions of how his daughter's future might have been, learning that human despair is not to be judged and that charity should be given to all.
  • He represents the best things in life - hope, faith, goodness, charity, kindness and love.
  • She was very well known for her kindness and charity and, at her home, there was always someone calling in for tea and a chat.
3.1 archaic Love of humankind, typically in a Christian context: faith, hope, and charity
More example sentences
  • Crusading for them was an act of love and charity by which, like the Good Samaritan, they were aiding their neighbors in distress.
  • They were keenly aware of their sinfulness and eager to undertake the hardships of the Crusade as a penitential act of charity and love.
  • As any good scholar of St. Augustine knows, the decisive mark of the Catholic Church is charity, not purity.


late Old English (in the sense 'Christian love of one's fellows'): from Old French charite, from Latin caritas, from carus 'dear'.


charity begins at home

proverb One’s first responsibility is for the needs of one’s own family and friends.
More example sentences
  • And since charity begins at home, Vicky enlisted the help of her 57-year-old mum Glenys, who is also the grandmother of three youngsters.
  • I have always believed that charity begins at home.
  • Surely, everybody knows that charity begins at home.

Definition of charity in: