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See more synonyms for alimony on Thesaurus.com
  1. Law. an allowance paid to a person by that person's spouse or former spouse for maintenance, granted by a court upon a legal separation or a divorce or while action is pending.
  2. supply of the means of living; maintenance.
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Origin of alimony

1645–55; < Latin alimōnia nourishment, sustenance, derivative of alimōn- (stem of alimō), equivalent to ali- (see aliment) + -mōn- action noun suffix parallel to -mentum -ment
Related formsal·i·mo·nied, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

living, upkeep, livelihood, subsistence, keep, maintenance, sustenance, provision, remittance

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British Dictionary definitions for alimony


  1. law (formerly) an allowance paid under a court order by one spouse to another when they are separated but not divorcedSee also maintenance
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Word Origin

C17: from Latin alimōnia sustenance, from alere to nourish
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 alimony


1650s, "nourishment," also "allowance to a wife from a husband's estate, or in certain cases of separation," from Latin alimonia "food, support, nourishment, sustenance," from alere "to nourish" (see old) + -monia suffix signifying action, state, condition (cognate with Greek -men). Derived form palimony coined 1979.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper