charity 1 *mercy, clemency, grace, lenity
Analogous words: love, affection, *attachment: benevolence, humaneness, altruism (see corresponding adjectives at CHARITABLE): benignity, benignancy, kindness, kindliness (see corresponding adjectives at KIND): generousness or generosity, liberalness or liberality, bountifulness or bounty, openhandedness (see corresponding adjectives at LIBERAL): goodwill, amity, *friendship
Antonyms: malice, ill will
Contrasted words: malevolence, malignity, malignancy, spite, spleen (see MALICE)
2 Charity, philanthropy are comparable in several of their meanings. Both words denote basically a love for one's fellowmen and a disposition to help those who are in need.
But charity in this sense tends to suggest a Christian virtue and the will to help, as well as the deed, whenever the occasion arises

alas for the rarity of Christian charity under the sun!— Hood


melt not in an acid sect the Christian pearl of charityWhittier

Philanthropy in this sense is much vaguer because it usually implies a love of mankind and a disposition to help the community or one's fellowmen rather than the individual

this philanthropy ... is everywhere manifest in our author— Dryden

Consequently there is a tendency to think of charity as benevolence manifested especially in public or private provision for the relief of the poor, and of philanthropy as benevolence manifested in efforts to promote the welfare or well-being of one's fellowmen; thus, out of charity one provides for the support of a destitute orphan ; out of philanthropy one sends a large gift of money to an educational institution

in benevolence, they excel in charity, which alleviates individual suffering, rather than in philanthropy, which deals with large masses and is more frequently employed in preventing than in allaying calamity— Lecky

The terms also may be applied to what is done or given out of charity or philanthropy or to an institution or cause which is the object of such benefaction

the cold philanthropies, the ostentatious public charities ... he exposed with utter and relentless scorn— Wilde


many charities and many philanthropies were aided by him during his lifetime


New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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  • Charity — Char i*ty, n.; pl. {Charities}. [F. charit[ e] 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}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Love; universal… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • charity — char‧i‧ty [ˈtʆærti] noun charities PLURALFORM 1. [countable] an organization that collects money to help people, for example those who are sick or poor, or to help certain types of activity such as artistic activity ; =NOT FOR PROFIT… …   Financial and business terms

  • charity — char·i·ty n pl ties: a gift for humanitarian, philanthropic, or other purposes beneficial to the public (as maintaining a public building); also: an institution (as a hospital or school) or organization founded by such a gift compare private… …   Law dictionary

  • Charity — Charity …   Wikipedia Español

  • Charity — f English: from the vocabulary word, denoting originally the Christian s love for his fellow man (Latin caritās, from carus dear). In spite of St Paul s words ‘and now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is… …   First names dictionary

  • charity — (n.) mid 12c., benevolence for the poor, from O.Fr. charité (O.N.Fr. carité), from L. caritatem (nom. caritas) costliness, esteem, affection (in Vulgate often used as translation of Gk. agape love especially Christian love of fellow man perhaps… …   Etymology dictionary

  • charity — ► NOUN (pl. charities) 1) an organization set up to help those in need. 2) the voluntary giving of money or other help to those in need. 3) help or money given in this way. 4) tolerance in judging others. ● charity begins at home Cf. ↑ …   English terms dictionary

  • charity — [n1] generosity, gift alms, alms giving, assistance, benefaction, beneficence, contribution, dole, donation, endowment, fund, gifting, hand*, hand out, helping hand*, largesse, oblation, offering, philanthropy, relief, write off; concepts 337,657 …   New thesaurus

  • Charity — [char′i tē] n. [see CHARITY] a feminine name …   English World dictionary

  • charity — /ˈtʃariti, ingl. ˈtʃærɪtɪ/ [vc. ingl., propr. «carità, beneficenza»] s. f. inv. 1. evento benefico 2. ente benefico, fondazione, onlus …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

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