Definition of tithe in English:



  • 1One tenth of annual produce or earnings, formerly taken as a tax for the support of the Church and clergy.

    • ‘These latter included wills, churches and churchyards, religious obligations, tithes, marriage, slander, and sorcery.’
    • ‘Issues that aroused dissatisfaction included rents, tithes, evictions, and wages, and protest could be aimed at landlords, clergy, and even tenant farmers who sub-let to cottiers and agricultural labourers.’
    • ‘This contribution is voluntary, but the government collects this tithe and uses the income to support hospitals, orphanages, and religious schools.’
    • ‘Your ‘glad giving’ does not have to be the Christian tithe of 10%, that is an outdated concept associated with a hierarchy struggling to maintain power.’
    • ‘I heard once that you should financially support the leaders where you are spiritually fed - as in the old Temple model of the priests getting the tithes of food and drink.’
    • ‘As a result, on January 1, 1777, the Virginia Episcopalian Church was for the first time denied its tithes.’
    • ‘They retained only one direct tax, the tithe on agricultural produce (decima).’
    • ‘They are patronised mainly by the under-classes, including domestic servants, whose tithe is too meagre for congregational development.’
    • ‘They therefore also saw themselves exempt from tithes to church or state.’
    • ‘Failure to observe the tithes would invoke not only severe Divine punishment but in most cases would render the grain religiously inedible and consequently unsalable.’
    • ‘Under the British, American colonists were forced to pay tithes and taxes to support the state church, even if they opposed its teachings.’
    • ‘This idea of the tithe comes from scripture; the Bible lays down that farmers in the land of Israel should set aside tithes of cattle, sheep, and produce, for priests and Levites (who were a public charge) and for the poor.’
    • ‘During the Middle Ages, canon law required each member of the parish to pay a tax of one-tenth, a tithe, of their income to the church.’
    • ‘Our taxes took over from institutions like the daan (among Buddhists) and the tithe (among Catholics), this so that it was not left to the wiles of individuals to create social justice.’
    • ‘Church tithes are a time-honoured tradition stipulated in the Old Testament of the Bible.’
    • ‘In 1714, a fee of twelve riksdollars per annum was charged for grazing land, and a tithe of one tenth of the crop for sowing land.’
    • ‘The artist has signed papers which mean a tenth of his income - known as a tithe - is paid to Sandyford Memorial Church in Glasgow, which he joined in February.’
    • ‘It was remarkable how little Cromwell interfered with the people who owned the land, the rights to the land, the tithes, the principles, even the church was not much interfered with.’
    • ‘We paid a tithe (a tenth of our monthly wages) to the church.’
    • ‘However, most towns and cities were parasitic on the countryside, drawing men and taxes for the state, along with rents, seigneurial dues, and tithes which noble and clerical élites largely expended within the towns themselves.’
    levy, tariff, duty, toll, excise, impost, contribution, assessment, tribute, tithe, charge, fee
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (in certain religious denominations) a tenth of an individual's income pledged to the Church.
      • ‘That would amount to Pentecostals in Toco being commanded to pay their Christian tithe to a Catholic church in Diego Martin - absolute madness.’
      • ‘In 1553, the income from these tithes was granted to the newly formed Stratford Corporation, out of which it was to pay the vicar's salary.’
      • ‘In the wake of declining tithes and offerings, churches from coast to coast are partnering with corporate sponsors to supplement their budgets, in exchange for high profile if controversial ad placement.’
      • ‘The Church was deprived of tithes, the basic income of the parish clergy.’
      • ‘Working in the couple's benefit, says Miller, is that with the exception of a 10% tithe to their church and eating out a few times a month, they aren't big spenders.’
      • ‘Will words about peace, love and brotherhood, and also of course about paying your tithe to the church on a regular basis, make any difference to a bunch of steroid-crazed palookas (if this is indeed what they are)?’
      • ‘Conflict shows itself in the spouse who resents increasing the tithe the family makes to the church or becomes upset when asked to make a special offering.’
      • ‘Ensuring that the tithes of the faithful reach church coffers and are properly used leaves no room for blind trust of those who handle the money.’
      • ‘The recipient then paid a tithe of $20 to the church based on our benevolence payment.’
      • ‘The tithe, for some religious groups, is the favored touchstone for defining the duty of stewardship, to the point of making it a legalized yardstick applied as a criterion for membership.’
      • ‘The organizers must foot that bill with their churches' tithes and offerings.’
      • ‘For another, they may have outgoing living costs of 80% of their income, in which case a tithe means something different.’
      • ‘Asked what the first thing he will do with his NBA paycheck, he says, ‘Pay my church tithe.’’
      • ‘‘The concept of giving a tithe, or 10%, of my income is perfectly acceptable and I will be in contact with my accountants to make that happen,’ he said.’
      • ‘Yes, there's the common cliché about the Catholic church and bingo, for example, but that money's going to the church, so it's more like a tithe.’
      • ‘If you are a church member, how do you know that your tithes and offerings are being used wisely?’
      • ‘The church received a tithe of that amount - something the church board members had never experienced before.’
      • ‘Lebanese Muslims are required to give 2.5 percent of their income, a tithe called zakkat to the needy within the community.’
      • ‘So instead of having to levy an extra tithe of his income, Jones will get to pocket the scratch.’
      • ‘A good Christian is now measured by the paying of tithes and offerings.’
    2. 1.2archaic in singular A tenth of a specified thing.
      ‘he hadn't said a tithe of the prayers he knew’
      • ‘I have not a tithe of the strength necessary to withstand such feral might.’
      • ‘We will make council together of how our finest produce is being sullied by vile competitors in the dark eastern lands who take it onto themselves and, through craft and cunning, recreate it at a tithe of the cost.’
      • ‘Today, when new music streams from the press in such floods that nobody has time to take in more than a tithe of it, a composer so versatile and prolific as Stanford is apt to suffer from those very qualities.’


[with object]
  • 1Pay or give as a tithe.

    ‘he tithes 10 per cent of his income to the Church’
    • ‘They can move closer to God's call to tithe, but in a way that helps them to understand the difference they can make as they increase their giving.’
    • ‘The Christian who is pressured by their church to tithe 10% of their family income will not find agreement from the Wiccan spouse who is used to only paying a modest fee for classes or coven dues.’
    • ‘In recent years, Trinity has encouraged members to tithe.’
    • ‘How do we put the needs of the church to operate its ministries before the members - and how do the members reconcile this need with God's call to them to tithe?’
    • ‘And fruit according to Jewish law is meant to be tithed.’
    • ‘About that time, a wealthy woman decided to tithe her money to the church.’
    • ‘The Pharisee in this story is again claiming to go above and beyond the duty of the law by tithing a portion of everything he acquires.’
    • ‘Of course a dollar will have to be tithed to his church.’
    • ‘One way to achieve this is by tithing the family's income.’
    • ‘My husband and I tithe, and we give most of our money to the Lutheran church.’
    • ‘Members can tithe online by setting up automatic account withdrawals managed by the church.’
    • ‘My wife and children had nagging health problems, and finances were continually short (even though we tithed, gave regularly and lived frugally).’
    • ‘I recall letters coming home to my mother asking her to sacrifice part of her income by tithing to the church.’
    • ‘In fact, nearly one million unchurched adults tithe their income, usually to parachurch ministries.’
    • ‘The challenge was not simply to tithe but to love the Lord and be just toward his people.’
    • ‘Food was always scarce in Nagara, the land was never able to give much bounty to those who farmed it and that which it gave was tithed off to the nobles to fill their pockets with riches.’
    • ‘Should we tithe our income before or after tax deductions?’
    • ‘For instance, all the agricultural mitzvot (the commandments to tithe produce, let the land lie fallow every seven years, etc.) apply only in the land of Israel.’
    • ‘Why do we tithe hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year to a sport to earn an occasional pittance in a field sprint?’
    • ‘He's going to tithe 10 percent of his winnings to the church.’
    1. 1.1historical Subject to a tax of one tenth of income or produce.
      • ‘Mosques all over the world not only tithe their followers, they also feed the hungry who come to worship and often find them jobs and places to live.’
      • ‘When Esav asked how to tithe salt, it was because Esav noticed all other items are tithed, and presumably poor people need salt as well.’


Old English tēotha (adjective in the ordinal sense ‘tenth’, used in a specialized sense as a noun), tēothian (verb).