To tithe is to make a contribution equal to one-tenth of your income, usually to a church or religious institution. Devout church-goers usually tithe, even in years when their finances are very tight.

Tithe comes from the Old English word teogotha, which means “tenth.” To tithe is to relinquish one-tenth of your personal income, either as a mandatory contribution, a voluntary donation, or as a levy. In ancient times farmers were required to tithe a portion of their crops. You may suspect that some of the wealthiest members of your church don’t really tithe as expected.

Definitions of tithe
  1. noun
    a levy of one tenth of something
    see moresee less
    type of:
    a charge imposed and collected
  2. noun
    an offering of a tenth part of some personal income
    see moresee less
    type of:
    money contributed to a religious organization
  3. verb
    pay a tenth of one's income, especially to the church
    “Although she left the church officially, she still tithes
    see moresee less
    type of:
    give money, usually in exchange for goods or services
  4. verb
    pay one tenth of; pay tithes on, especially to the church
    “He tithed his income to the Church”
  5. verb
    exact a tithe from
    “The church was tithed
    see moresee less
    type of:
    bill, charge
    demand payment
  6. verb
    levy a tithe on (produce or a crop)
    “The wool was tithed
    see moresee less
    type of:
    impose, levy
    impose and collect
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week