tithe

titheless, adj.
/tuydh/, n., v., tithed, tithing.
n.
1. Sometimes, tithes. the tenth part of agricultural produce or personal income set apart as an offering to God or for works of mercy, or the same amount regarded as an obligation or tax for the support of the church, priesthood, or the like.
2. any tax, levy, or the like, esp. of one-tenth.
3. a tenth part or any indefinitely small part of anything.
v.t.
4. to give or pay a tithe or tenth of (produce, money, etc.).
5. to give or pay tithes on (crops, income, etc.).
6. to exact a tithe from (a person, community, parish, etc.).
7. to levy a tithe on (crops, income, etc.).
v.i.
8. to give or pay a tithe.
Also, Brit., tythe.
[bef. 900; (n.) ME ti(ghe)the, OE teogotha TENTH; (v.) ME tithen, OE teogothian to take the tenth of, deriv. of the n.]

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Contribution of a tenth of one's income for religious purposes.

The practice of tithing was established in the Hebrew scriptures and was adopted by the Western Christian church. It was enjoined by eccesiastical law from the 6th century and enforced in Europe by secular law from the 8th century. After the Reformation, tithes continued to be imposed for the benefit of both the Protestant and Roman Catholic churches. Tithes were eventually repealed in France (1789), Ireland (1871), Italy (1887), and England (1936). In Germany support for churches is collected through the personal income tax and distributed according to the individual's religious affiliation. Tithing was never part of U.S. law, but members of certain churches (e.g., the Mormons) are required to tithe, and members of other churches may tithe voluntarily. Tithing was never accepted by the Eastern Orthodox churches.

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▪ almsgiving
      (from Old English teogothian, “tenth”), a custom dating back to Old Testament times and adopted by the Christian church whereby lay people contributed a 10th of their income for religious purposes, often under ecclesiastical or legal obligation. The money (or its equivalent in crops, farm stock, etc.) was used to support the clergy, maintain churches, and assist the poor. Tithing was also a prime source of subsidy for the construction of many magnificent cathedrals in Europe.

      Despite serious resistance, tithing became obligatory as Christianity spread across Europe. It was enjoined by ecclesiastical law from the 6th century and enforced in Europe by secular law from the 8th century. In England in the 10th century, payment was made obligatory under ecclesiastical penalties by Edmund I and under temporal penalties by Edgar. In the 14th century Pope Gregory VII (Gregory VII, Saint), in an effort to control abuses, outlawed lay ownership of tithes.

      During the 16th-century Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther (Luther, Martin) approved in general of paying tithes to the temporal sovereign, and the imposition of tithes continued for the benefit of Protestant as well as Roman Catholic churches. Gradually, however, opposition grew. Tithes were repealed in France during the Revolution (French Revolution) (1789), without compensation to tithe holders. Other countries abolished certain kinds of tithes and indemnified the holders. By 1887 the tithe had been brought to an end in Italy. It was abolished in Ireland at the disestablishment of the Anglican (Anglicanism) church in 1871, and it gradually died out in the Church of Scotland (Scotland, Church of). In England (United Kingdom) in 1836, the tithe was commuted for a rent charge depending on the price of grain, and in 1936 the tithe rent charges were abolished. New methods of taxation were developed in those countries that provided financial support of the church out of government funds. Remnants of the tithing system do exist, however, in certain Protestant European countries. In Germany, for example, citizens must pay a church tax unless they formally renounce membership in a church.

      Tithe was never a legal requirement in the United States. Members of certain churches, however, including the Latter-day Saints (Mormon) and Seventh-day Adventists (Seventh-day Adventist), are required to tithe, and some Christians in other churches do so voluntarily.

      The Eastern Orthodox churches never accepted the idea of tithes, and Orthodox church members have never paid them.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:
, , (to the amount of one tenth)


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tithe — Tithe, n. [OE. tithe, tethe, properly an adj., tenth, AS. te[ o]?a the tenth; akin to ti[ e]n, t?n, t[=e]n, ten, G. zehnte, adj., tenth, n., a tithe, Icel. t[=i]und the tenth; tithe, Goth. ta[ i]hunda tenth. See {Ten}, and cf. {Tenth}, {Teind}.]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tithe — [tīth] n. [ME < OE teothe, contr. < teogotha, a TENTH] 1. one tenth of the annual produce of one s land or of one s annual income, paid as a tax or contribution to support a church or its clergy 2. a) a tenth part b) any small part 3. any… …   English World dictionary

  • Tithe — Tithe, a. Tenth. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Every tithe soul, mongst many thousand. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tithe — Tithe, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Tithed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Tithing}.] [As. te[ o]?ian.] To levy a tenth part on; to tax to the amount of a tenth; to pay tithes on. [1913 Webster] Ye tithe mint and rue. Luke xi. 42. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tithe — index tax, toll (tax) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 tithe …   Law dictionary

  • Tithe — Tithe, v. i. Tp pay tithes. [R.] Tusser. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tithe — [taıð] n [: Old English; Origin: teogotha tenth ] 1.) a particular amount that some Christians give to their church 2.) a tax paid to the church in the past >tithe v [I and T] …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • tithe — ► NOUN 1) one tenth of annual produce or earnings, formerly taken as a tax for the support of the Church and clergy. 2) archaic a tenth of a specified thing. ► VERB ▪ subject to or pay as a tithe. ORIGIN Old English, «tenth» …   English terms dictionary

  • tithe — [ taıð ] noun count a tax that people paid to the church in the past a. a particular amount of money that members of some Christian churches give to the church …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Tithe — For the type of land division, see Tithing (country subdivision). The Tithe Pig, group by Derby Porcelain, c. 1770 A tithe ( …   Wikipedia

  • TITHE — General The rendering of tithes of property for sacral purposes was common all over the ancient Near East, though well documented and first hand evidence concerning tithes comes mainly from Mesopotamia (ešrû/eširtu; cf. Dandamaev, in bibl.).… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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