c. 1200, in reference to the Christian virtue, "benevolent, kind, manifesting Christian love in its highest and broadest form," from Old French charitable, from charité (see charity). Meaning "liberal in treatment of the poor" is from c. 1400; that of "inclined to impute favorable motives to others" is from 1620s. Related: Charitableness; charitably.
"of or pertaining to alms, derived from or provided by charity, charitable," 1610s, from Medieval Latin eleemosynarius "pertaining to alms," from Late Latin eleemosyna "alms," from Greek eleemosyne "pity" (see alms).
1560s, "arrangement for an awarding of prizes by chance among those buying tickets," from Italian lotteria, from lotto "lot, portion, share," from a Germanic source. It is cognate with Old English hlot (see lot (n.)), and compare lotto. French loterie is from Middle Dutch loterje, from the same Germanic source. Formerly they were typically used to raise money for some state or charitable purpose.
late 14c., "action of collecting, practice of gathering together," from Old French collection (14c.), from Latin collectionem (nominative collectio) "a gathering together," noun of action from past-participle stem of colligere "gather together" (see collect).
Especially of money gathered for religious or charitable purposes from 1530s. Meaning "a group of objects viewed as a whole" is from c. 1400; sense of "an assemblage of gathered objects" is from mid-15c. Meaning "act of receiving or compelling payment of money owed" is from 1650s.
late Old English, "benevolence for the poor," also "Christian love in its highest manifestation," from Old French charité "(Christian) charity, mercy, compassion; alms; charitable foundation" (12c.), from Latin caritatem (nominative caritas) "costliness; esteem, affection," from carus "dear, valued," from PIE *karo-, from root *ka- "to like, desire."
In the Vulgate the Latin word often is used as translation of Greek agape "love" -- especially Christian love of fellow man -- perhaps to avoid the sexual suggestion of Latin amor). The Vulgate also sometimes translated agape by Latin dilectio, noun of action from diligere "to esteem highly, to love" (see diligence).
Wyclif and the Rhemish version regularly rendered the Vulgate dilectio by 'love,' caritas by 'charity.' But the 16th c. Eng. versions from Tindale to 1611, while rendering agape sometimes 'love,' sometimes 'charity,' did not follow the dilectio and caritas of the Vulgate, but used 'love' more often (about 86 times), confining 'charity' to 26 passages in the Pauline and certain of the Catholic Epistles (not in I John), and the Apocalypse .... In the Revised Version 1881, 'love' has been substituted in all these instances, so that it now stands as the uniform rendering of agape. [OED]
General sense of "affections people ought to feel for one another" is from c. 1300. From c. 1300 as "an act of kindness or philanthropy," also "alms, that which is bestowed gratuitously on a person or persons in need." Sense of "charitable foundation or institution" in English attested by 1690s. Meaning "liberality in judging others or their actions" is from late 15c. A charity-school (1680s) was one maintained by voluntary contributions or bequests.