Share this entry

Share this page


Line breaks: char|ity
Pronunciation: /ˈtʃarɪti

Definition of charity in English:

noun (plural charities)

1An organization set up to provide help and raise money for those in need: the charity provides practical help for homeless people
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.
non-profit-making organization, non-profit organization, not-for-profit organization, voluntary organization, charitable institution;
fund, trust, foundation, cause, movement
1.1 [mass noun] The body of organizations viewed collectively as the object of fundraising or of 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.
2 [mass noun] The voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need: the care of the poor must not be left to private charity
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.
2.1Help or money given 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.
3 [mass noun] Kindness 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 A person’s first responsibility is for the needs of their own family and friends.
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:

Share this entry

Share this page


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?