Also found in: Thesaurus.


a. Generous in giving money or other help to the needy: "found her way to a charitable family, the kind who take in babies left on their front porch" (Rachel Simon).
b. Of, for, or concerned with charity: a charitable donation. See Synonyms at benevolent.
a. Lenient or forbearing in judging others.
b. Characterized by lenient or forbearing judgment: a charitable interpretation of the politician's remarks.

char′i·ta·ble·ness n.
char′i·ta·bly adv.



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.

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.charitableness - generosity as manifested by practicing charity (as for the poor or unfortunate)
generosity, generousness - the trait of being willing to give your money or time


References in classic literature ?
Cadwallader had no patience with them, and now saw that her opinion of this girl had been infected with some of her husband's weak charitableness: those Methodistical whims, that air of being more religious than the rector and curate together, came from a deeper and more constitutional disease than she had been willing to believe.
The female Bullock, aunt of Georgy, although despoiled by that little monster of one-half of the sum which she expected from her father, nevertheless showed her charitableness of spirit by being reconciled to the mother and the boy.
The efforts are part of the keenness of the UAE leadership to support the Yemeni people, in accordance with the values and charitableness of Founding Father Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
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Sydney Ahlstrom observes,--the term "liberal" used to describe this theology "denotes both a certain generosity or charitableness toward divergent opinions and a desire for intellectual liberty" (2004, 779).
that an entity should fail the test of charitableness "only where
New York is a city where the hybridization of culture does take place, although for the moment this hybridization is accompanied by the growing intolerance of a people whose understanding and charitableness has taken a back seat to their fear of destruction the destruction of all they believe in.
Well, actually, they start outpretty eager (my 17-month-old loves to unload the dishwasher, which of course is not helpful at all because she is always unloading it when it is dirty, but whatever, it's cute), and then their charitableness often tapers off, as my 4-year-old illustrates regularly (but I promise, he's sweet much of the time, too).
The study, carried out by One4all Gift Cards UK, found that almost 80% of those from the region consider charitableness and generosity as important qualities in lovers, which is 4% than the national average.
The study, carried out by One4all Gift Cards UK, found that almost 80% of those from the North East consider charitableness and generosity as important qualities in lovers, which is 4% more than the national average.
THE SANDIGANBAYAN, in a display of charitableness, yesterday granted the petitions separately brought before it by three prominent accused, including former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Will it foster a sense of civic vibrancy and charitableness that Tocqueville found in emerging America?