c. 1200, "thing offered, what is offered or given as a gift," from Old French present and directly from Medieval Latin presentia, from phrases such as French en present "(to offer) in the presence of," mettre en present "place before, give," from Latin in re praesenti "in the situation in question," from praesens "being there" (see present (adj.), and compare present (v.)). The notion is of "something brought into someone's presence."
The difference between present and gift is felt in the fact that one may be willing to accept as a present that which he would not be willing to accept as a gift : a gift is to help the one receiving it; a present does him honor, or expresses friendly feeling toward him. A present is therefore ordinarily to an individual; but in law gift is used, to the exclusion of present, as including all transfers of property without consideration and for the benefit of the donee. [Century Dictionary]
1875, "special spiritual gift or power divinely conferred, talent from God" (as on the early Christians in "Acts," etc.), Latinized form of Greek kharisma "favor, divine gift," from kharizesthai "to show favor to," from kharis "grace, beauty, kindness" (Charis was the name of one of the three attendants of Aphrodite), which is related to khairein "to rejoice at," from PIE root *gher- (2) "to like, want."
In the form charism (plural charismata) it is attested in the "special spiritual gift from god" sense from 1640s. Middle English, meanwhile, had karisme "spiritual gift, divine grace" (c. 1500).
These gifts were of two classes, the gift of healing and gift of teaching, the latter again being of two kinds, the gift of prophecy and the gift of tongues. Such gifts have been claimed in later ages by certain teachers and sects in the church, as the Montanists and the Irvingites, and in recent times by some of those who practise the so-called faith-cure. [Century Dictionary, 1897]
Meaning "gift of leadership, power of authority" is from c. 1930, from German, used in this sense by Max Weber (1864-1920) in "Wirtschaft u. Gesellschaft" (1922). More mundane sense of "personal charm" recorded by 1959.
"characterized by being given or presented," especially "vested or vesting by donation," 1550s, from Latin donativus, from donare "give as a gift" (from PIE root *do- "to give"). As a noun, "a gift or present," from mid-15c.
1845, among some American native peoples, "a gift," from Chinook jargon pot-latch, "a gift," from Nootka (Wakashan) patshatl "giving, gift." Later (1865) in sense "An Indian feast, often lasting several days, given to the tribe by a member who aspires to the position of chief, and whose reputation is estimated by the number and value of the gifts distributed at the feast" [Century Dictionary, 1895]
"free gift given by merchants to customers when accounts are settled," 1892, from Mexican Spanish, from Spanish pilón "sugar loaf."
masc. proper name, from French, from Latin Isidorus, from Greek Isidoros, literally "gift of Isis," from Isis (see Isis) + dōron "gift" (from PIE root *do- "to give"). St. Isidore, archbishop of Seville (600-636) wrote important historical, etymological, and ecclesiastical works and in 2001 was named patron saint of computers, computer users, and the internet. Related: Isidorian.
fem. proper name, from French Dorothée, from Latin Dorothea, from Greek, literally "gift of God," from dōron "gift" (from PIE root *do- "to give") + fem. of theos "god" (from PIE root *dhes-, forming words for religious concepts). With the elements reversed, it becomes Theodora. The accessory called a Dorothy bag is so called from 1907.
"to give, present as a gift, contribute," 1819, a back-formation from donation. OED and Century Dictionary mark it as (chiefly) U.S. Related: Donated; donating.
*dō-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to give."
It forms all or part of: add; anecdote; antidote; betray; condone; dacha; dado; data; date (n.1) "time;" dative; deodand; die (n.); donation; donative; donor; Dorian; Dorothy; dose; dowager; dower; dowry; edition; endow; Eudora; fedora; Isidore; mandate; Pandora; pardon; perdition; Polydorus; render; rent (n.1) "payment for use of property;" sacerdotal; samizdat; surrender; Theodore; Theodosia; tradition; traitor; treason; vend.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit dadati "gives," danam "offering, present;" Old Persian dadatuv "let him give;" Greek didomi, didonai, "to give, offer," dōron "gift;" Latin dare "to give, grant, offer," donum "gift;" Armenian tam "to give;" Old Church Slavonic dati "give," dani "tribute;" Lithuanian duoti "to give," duonis "gift;" Old Irish dan "gift, endowment, talent," Welsh dawn "gift."