Also found in: Thesaurus.
cast one’s bread upon the waters To act charitably or generously without thought of return or personal profit. The reference is to Ecclesiastes 11:1:
Cast thy bread upon the waters; for thou shalt find it after many days.
sprout wings To do an act of charity; to perform a good deed. This expression is based on the conventional depiction of angels as winged beings. It is usually used jocularly to suggest that one is progressing toward a more angelic nature. The expression is occasionally extended to mean death, perhaps as an assumption that those bound for eternal bliss develop the wings of angels.
widow’s mite A small amount of money, especially a small contribution that represents a great sacrifice from one with limited financial resources. This expression is Biblical in origin, mite referring to a coin of very little value, less than an eighth of a penny.
And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. … [And Christ said] this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: for all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living. (Mark 12:42-44)
A commonly used variation is mite.
|Noun||1.||charitableness - generosity as manifested by practicing charity (as for the poor or unfortunate)|