a television broadcast lasting several hours, especially one soliciting support for a charity.

Origin of telethon

1945–50; tele-1 + -thon Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for telethon

bazaar, fundraiser, radiothon

Examples from the Web for telethon

Contemporary Examples of telethon

  • George Clooney will also host a telethon on January 22 for MTV.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Who's Helping Haiti?

    The Daily Beast

    January 14, 2010

British Dictionary definitions for telethon



a lengthy television programme to raise charity funds, etc

Word Origin for telethon

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