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See also: charity



From charity in the Biblical sense of Christian love; first used by Puritans. In early Christian tradition, Faith, Hope and Charity were the martyred daughters of Saint Sophia. The names, taken from 1 Corinthians 13:13 ("And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity") have been translated and used in many languages.

The name of the sura (chapter) is one of several translations of the original Arabic.

Proper noun[edit]

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  1. A female given name.
    • 1594, William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Act IV, Scene V:
      By Gis and by Saint Charity,
      Alack, and fie for shame!
    • 1851 Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, Chapter 20:
      Never did any woman better deserve her name, which was Charity — Aunt Charity, as everybody called her. And like a sister of charity did this charitable Aunt Charity bustle about hither and thither, ready to turn her hand and heart to anything that promised to yield safety, comfort, and consolation to all on board a ship in which her beloved brother Bildad was concerned, and in which she herself owned a score or two of well-saved dollars.
    • 1989 Ann Oakley, The Men's Room, Atheneum 1989, ISBN 0689120508, page 223:
      Tessa giggled. 'What a dreadful name! Is she really called Charity?'
      'Yes. She really is.' Mark recalled how glorious the name of Charity had sounded to him in the beginning. 'It's not her fault she's called Charity,' he added defensively.
  2. The 107th sura (chapter) of the Qur'an.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Originally more popular than Faith and Hope but less common than either of them today.
  • Other translations of the sura's title include "Almsgiving" and "Assistance".

Related terms[edit]