- a television broadcast lasting several hours, especially one soliciting support for a charity.
Origin of telethon
1945–50; tele-1 + -thon
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for telethon
George Clooney will also host a telethon on January 22 for MTV.Who's Helping Haiti?
The Daily Beast
January 14, 2010
- a lengthy television programme to raise charity funds, etc
C20: from tele- + marathon
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for telethon
prolonged TV fundraiser, 1949, from tele(vision) + (mara)thon (see -athon). Milton Berle's 16-hour television cancer fundraiser in April 1949 might have been the first to be so called.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper