• synonyms


[al-muh-ner, ah-muh-]
  1. a person whose function or duty is the distribution of alms on behalf of an institution, a royal personage, a monastery, etc.
  2. British.
    1. a hospital official who determines the amount due for a patient's treatment.
    2. a social worker in a hospital.
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Origin of almoner

1250–1300; Middle English almoiner, aumoner (with insertion of l under influence of alms) < Old French aumon(i)erLate Latin eleēmosynārius eleemosynary
Related formssub·al·mon·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for almoner

Historical Examples of almoner

  • You, and others of your stamp, look upon me as an almoner, not more nor less.'

    Gerald Fitzgerald

    Charles James Lever

  • And he has often commissioned his Almoner to find a benefice for me.

  • He becomes the almoner of the treasure-house of Light and Knowledge.

  • "The body servant of the almoner, Pedro de Soto," was the reply.

  • He is almoner to the uncompassionate, who but for him would give no alms.

British Dictionary definitions for almoner


  1. British obsolete a trained hospital social worker responsible for the welfare of patients
  2. (formerly) a person who distributes alms or charity on behalf of a household or institution
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Word Origin for almoner

C13: from Old French almosnier, from almosne alms, from Vulgar Latin alemosina (unattested), from Late Latin eleēmosyna; see alms
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 almoner


"official distributor of alms on behalf of another," c.1300 (mid-13c. as a surname), from Old French almosnier (12c.; Modern French aumônerie), from Vulgar Latin *almosinarius, from Late Latin elemosinarius (adj.) "connected with alms," from eleemosyna "alms" (see alms).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper