[al-uh-moh, ah-luh-]

Origin of alamo

First recorded in 1830–40, alamo is from the Spanish word álamo poplar, ultimately < a pre-Roman language of Iberia


  1. a Franciscan mission in San Antonio, Texas, besieged by Mexicans on February 23, 1836, during the Texan war for independence and taken on March 6, 1836, with its entire garrison killed. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for alamo

Contemporary Examples of alamo

Historical Examples of alamo

  • If a gun was fired from the Alamo, one of the besiegers was sure to fall.

    Aztec Land

    Maturin M. Ballou

  • There came from the direction of the Alamo the steady rat-tat-tat of rifles.

    When the West Was Young

    Frederick R. Bechdolt

  • The Alamo had fallen, and now it was necessary to figure up results.

    For the Liberty of Texas

    Edward Stratemeyer

  • They had heard of the fall of the Alamo, but had not imagined that all of the garrison were slaughtered.

    For the Liberty of Texas

    Edward Stratemeyer

  • "You should have remembered that at the Alamo," said the Texan commander.

    For the Liberty of Texas

    Edward Stratemeyer

British Dictionary definitions for alamo


  1. the Alamo a mission in San Antonio, Texas, the site of a siege and massacre in 1836 by Mexican forces under Santa Anna of a handful of American rebels fighting for Texan independence from Mexico
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 alamo


nickname of Franciscan Mission San Antonio de Valeroin (begun 1718, dissolved 1793) in San Antonio, Texas; American Spanish, literally "poplar" (in New Spain, also "cottonwood"), from alno "the black poplar," from Latin alnus "alder" (cf. alder).

Perhaps so called in reference to trees growing nearby (cf. Alamogordo, New Mexico, literally "big poplar," and Spanish alameda "a public walk with a row of trees on each side"); but the popular name seems to date from the period 1803-13, when the old mission was the base for a Spanish cavalry company from the Mexican town of Alamo de Parras in Nueva Vizcaya.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

alamo in Culture



A fort, once a chapel, in San Antonio, Texas, where a group of Americans made a heroic stand against a much larger Mexican force in 1836, during the war for Texan independence from Mexico. The Mexicans, under General Santa Anna, besieged the Alamo and eventually killed all of the defenders, including Davy Crockett.


Rallying under the cry “Remember the Alamo!”, Texans later forced the Mexicans to recognize the independent republic of Texas.
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.