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From Middle English endowement; equivalent to endow +‎ -ment.


  • (UK) enPR: ĭn-douʹmənt, ĕn-, IPA(key): /ɪnˈdaʊmənt/, /ɛnˈdaʊmənt/
  • (US) enPR: ĕn-douʹmənt, ĭn-, IPA(key): /ɛnˈdaʊmənt/, /ɪnˈdaʊmənt/


endowment (plural endowments)

  1. Something with which a person or thing is endowed.
    • 1791, Benjamin Banneker, Letter to Thomas Jefferson on racism and slavery (19 August 1791):
      I suppose it is a truth too well attested to you, to need a proof here, that we are a race of beings, who have long labored under the abuse and censure of the world; that we have long been looked upon with an eye of contempt; and that we have long been considered rather as brutish than human, and scarcely capable of mental endowments.
    • 1958, Adlai Stevenson, Speech to the United Parents Association:
      We must not, in opening our schools to everyone, confuse the idea that all should have equal chance with the notion that all have equal endowments.
    • 1980, Ray Broadus Browne, Rituals and ceremonies in popular culture, page 230:
      [] the woman with larger-than-usual breasts will be initially perceived only as a sex object if she doesn't take steps to disguise her endowment.
    • 1985, Jonas Salk, Interview on The Open Mind (11 May 1985):
      What is … important is that we — number one: Learn to live with each other. Number two: try to bring out the best in each other. The best from the best, and the best from those who, perhaps, might not have the same endowment.
    • 2006, Natalie R. Collins, Wives and Sisters, page 54:
      Tami also had huge breasts, and every teenage boy wanted to touch them. [] Tami, knowing she was not beautiful, used her endowment to great advantage.
  2. Property or funds invested for the support and benefit of a person or not-for-profit institution.
    • 1884, Edwin Abbott Abbott, in chapter 8 of his novella Flatland:
      Not content with the natural neglect into which Sight Recognition was falling, they began boldly to demand the legal prohibition of all "monopolizing and aristocratic Arts" and the consequent abolition of all endowments for the studies of Sight Recognition, Mathematics, and Feeling.
    • 1932, Robert Clarkson Clothier, after assuming the presidency of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
      I seem to see a great university, great in endowment, in land, in buildings, in equipment, but greater still, second to none, in its practical idealism, and its social usefulness.
    • 2013 July 6, “The rise of smart beta”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8843, page 68:
      Investors face a quandary. Cash offers a return of virtually zero in many developed countries; government-bond yields may have risen in recent weeks but they are still unattractive. Equities have suffered two big bear markets since 2000 and are wobbling again. It is hardly surprising that pension funds, insurers and endowments are searching for new sources of return.
  3. (insurance) Endowment assurance or pure endowment.
  4. (Mormonism) A ceremony designed to prepare participants for their role in the afterlife.


  • (something with which a person or thing is endowed): gift

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Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of endowement