- Love; universal benevolence; good will."Now abideth faith, hope, charity, three; but the greatest of these is charity." [1. Cor. xiii. 13.]"They, at least, are little to be envied, in whose hearts the great charities . . . lie dead." [Ruskin.]"With malice towards none, with charity for all." [Lincoln.]
- 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."The highest exercise of charity is charity towards the uncharitable." [Buckminster.]
- Liberality to the poor and the suffering, to benevolent institutions, or to worthy causes; generosity."The heathen poet, in commending the charity of Dido to the Trojans, spake like a Christian." [Dryden.]
- Whatever is bestowed gratuitously on the needy or suffering for their relief; alms; any act of kindness."She did ill then to refuse her a charity." [L'Estrange.]
- A charitable institution, or a gift to create and support such an institution; as, Lady Margaret's charity .
- pl.[Law] Eleemosynary appointments [grants or devises] including relief of the poor or friendless, education, religious culture, and public institutions."The charities that soothe, and heal, and bless,
Are scattered at the feet of man like flowers." [Wordsworth.]synonyms: Love; benevolence; good will; affection; tenderness; beneficence; liberality; almsgiving.
Etymology: F. charité fr. L. caritas dearness, high regard, love, from carus dear, costly, loved; asin to Skr. kam to wish, love, cf. Ir. cara a friend, W. caru to love. Cf. Caress