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alma mater

[ahl-muh mah-ter, al-; al-muh mey-ter]
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noun
  1. a school, college, or university at which one has studied and, usually, from which one has graduated.
  2. the official anthem of a school, college, or university.
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Origin of alma mater

< Latin: nourishing (i.e., dear) mother
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for alma mater

alma mater

noun
  1. (often capitals) one's school, college, or university
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Word Origin

C17: from Latin: bountiful mother
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 alma mater

Alma Mater

n.

late 14c., Latin, literally "bountiful mother," a title Romans gave to goddesses, especially Ceres and Cybele, from alma, fem. of almus "nourishing," from alere "to nourish" (see old) + mater "mother" (see mother (n.1)). First used 1710 in sense of "one's university or school" in reference to British universities.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

alma mater in Culture

alma mater

[(al-muh mah-tuhr, ahl-muh mah-tuhr)]

The school or university from which one graduated. The term also refers to a school's official song: “The reunion began with everyone singing the alma mater.” From Latin, meaning “nurturing mother.”

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with alma mater

alma mater

Also, Alma Mater. The school or college one attended and, usually, graduated from, as in During football season I always check to see how my alma mater is doing. This expression sometimes refers to the institution's official song, as in I never did learn the words to my college's alma mater. The term is Latin for “kind mother.” [c. 1800]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.