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generous in donations or gifts to relieve the needs of indigent, ill, or helpless persons, or of animals:
a charitable man giving much money to feed the poor.
kindly or lenient in judging people, acts, etc.:
charitable in his opinions of others.
pertaining to or concerned with charity:
a charitable institution.
generous in giving to the needy
kind or lenient in one’s attitude towards others
concerned with or involving charity

c.1200, in reference to the Christian virtue, from Old French charitable, from charité (see charity). Meaning “liberal in treatment of the poor” is from c.1400; that of “inclined to impute favorable motives to others” is from 1620s. Related: Charitableness; charitably.


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  • Charites

    the ancient Greek name for the Graces.

  • Charity

    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 […]

  • Charity begins at home

    Be generous to your family before helping others. For example, She spends hours and hours on volunteer work and neglects the children, forgetting that charity begins at home. This proverb was first recorded in English, in slightly different form, in John Wycliffe’s Of Prelates (c. 1380); “Charity should begin at himself.”

  • Charity commissioners

    plural noun (in Britain) members of a commission constituted to keep a register of charities and control charitable trusts

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