Definition of caritas in US English:



  • Christian love of humankind; charity.

    • ‘Exploration of such issues as ritual, dietary codes, cleansing, communion, caritas and compassionate fasting are complemented by specific ‘spiritual meal guidelines’ exercises for readers to practice.’
    • ‘In the early stage of their friendship, Anna's romance with the widow Lehntman involves their common ‘goodness’: their embodiment of Christian caritas and selfless devotion to others.’
    • ‘It is for this reason, I suggest, that Aquinas places his discussion of just war in the context of his treatment of the virtue of caritas.’
    • ‘The forfeiture of self-possession is indeed a condition for the narrator's rediscovery of Christian caritas, though the surrender is no less ‘terrible’ than Eliot has previously imagined it.’
    • ‘The spiritual disciplines, like the Christian ideal of caritas, that lift human relationships out of the realm of the utilitarian seemed to have no place in the new world that commerce was bringing into being.’
    • ‘Verwindung is not the repudiation of religious faith, Christianity in particular, but the response best correlated to Christian caritas.’
    • ‘Hospitality - caritas - became a duty for all Christians, whether the one to whom aid was proffered or from whom it was received was a family or tribal member, or a stranger.’
    • ‘It is interesting though that the speaker, while identifying caritas in familiar, Christian terms, actually downplays its rich, religious significance.’
    • ‘They did this primarily by promoting new devotions, such as that to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which celebrated a very medieval idea of love or caritas.’
    • ‘Democracy, so understood, arises out of mutual need, and finally points to the overarching necessity of a shared sense of democratic caritas, or charity.’
    • ‘There is a single ethic of perfection, then; whence the full force of Aquinas' decision, as Johnson notes, to place ‘his discussion of just war in the context of his treatment of the virtue of caritas.’’
    • ‘The Latin term for charity, caritas, implies an act of giving by the ‘haves ‘to the ‘have-nots ‘- out of the goodness of their hearts.’’
    • ‘For Cicero, friendship involves genuine, deeply felt affection, which he repeatedly calls ‘love,’ using the Latin caritas and amor.’
    • ‘Simone Weil is writing about love as caritas when she defines it: ‘Belief in the existence of other human beings as such is love’.’
    • ‘And there's a long tradition that's talked about this using the word caritas or mutuality, and, this is within the Christian tradition.’
    goodwill, compassion, consideration, concern, kindness, kindliness, kind-heartedness, tenderness, tender-heartedness, warm-heartedness, brotherly love, love, sympathy, understanding, fellow feeling, thoughtfulness, indulgence, tolerance, liberality, decency, nobility, graciousness, lenience, leniency
    View synonyms


Mid 19th century: Latin.