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See more synonyms for alimentary on Thesaurus.com
  1. concerned with the function of nutrition; nutritive.
  2. pertaining to food.
  3. providing sustenance or maintenance.
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Origin of alimentary

From the Latin word alimentārius, dating back to 1605–15. See aliment, -ary
Related formsun·al·i·men·ta·ry, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for alimentary

Historical Examples

  • Arsenic inflames the mucous membranes of the alimentary passages.

    Alcohol and the Human Brain

    Joseph Cook

  • Oversaturated, the alimentary system refuses to work properly.

    The Iron Ration

    George Abel Schreiner

  • Thus the alimentary supply is conditioned solely by the heat required.

    The Races of Man

    Joseph Deniker

  • Of course these ceremonies are not followed by an alimentary communion.

  • The alimentary tract is not continued into the hindermost of them.

British Dictionary definitions for alimentary


  1. of or relating to nutrition
  2. providing sustenance or nourishment
  3. Scots law free from the claims of creditorsan alimentary trust
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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 alimentary


1610s, from Medieval Latin alimentarius "pertaining to food," from Latin alimentum "nourishment," from alere "to nourish, rear, support, maintain," from PIE root *al- "to grow, nourish" (see old).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

alimentary in Medicine


(ăl′ə-mĕntə-rē, -trē)
  1. Concerned with food, nutrition, or digestion.
  2. Providing nourishment.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.