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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
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 benevolence; good will. [1913 Webster] Now abideth faith, hope, charity, three; but the greatest of these is charity. --1. Cor. xiii. 13. [1913 Webster] They, at least, are little to be envied, in whose hearts the great charities . . . lie dead. --Ruskin. [1913 Webster] With malice towards none, with charity for all. --Lincoln. [1913 Webster] 2. 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. [1913 Webster] The highest exercise of charity is charity towards the uncharitable. --Buckminster. [1913 Webster] 3. Liberality to the poor and the suffering, to benevolent institutions, or to worthy causes; generosity. [1913 Webster] The heathen poet, in commending the charity of Dido to the Trojans, spake like a Christian. --Dryden. [1913 Webster] 4. Whatever is bestowed gratuitously on the needy or suffering for their relief; alms; any act of kindness. [1913 Webster] She did ill then to refuse her a charity. --L'Estrange. [1913 Webster] 5. A charitable institution, or a gift to create and support such an institution; as, Lady Margaret's charity. [1913 Webster] 6. pl. (Law) Eleemosynary appointments [grants or devises] including relief of the poor or friendless, education, religious culture, and public institutions. [1913 Webster] The charities that soothe, and heal, and bless, Are scattered at the feet of man like flowers. --Wordsworth. [1913 Webster] Sisters of Charity (R. C. Ch.), a sisterhood of religious women engaged in works of mercy, esp. in nursing the sick; -- a popular designation. There are various orders of the Sisters of Charity. Syn: Love; benevolence; good will; affection; tenderness; beneficence; liberality; almsgiving. [1913 Webster]