alms

[ ahmz ]
/ ɑmz /

noun (used with a singular or plural verb)

money, food, or other donations given to the poor or needy; anything given as charity: The hands of the beggars were outstretched for alms.

Nearby words

  1. almoravids,
  2. almost,
  3. almost everywhere,
  4. almost periodic function,
  5. almous,
  6. almsgiver,
  7. almshouse,
  8. almsman,
  9. almswoman,
  10. almucantar

Origin of alms

before 1000; Middle English almes, almesse, Old English ælmesse (compare Old Saxon alamōsna, Old High German alamuosa, Dutch aalmoes; Old Spanish almosna) ≪ Late Latin eleēmosyna < Greek eleēmosýnē compassion, alms, derivative of éleos pity. See eleemosynary

Can be confusedalms arms

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for alms


British Dictionary definitions for alms

alms

/ (ɑːmz) /

pl n

charitable donations of money or goods to the poor or needy

Word Origin for alms

Old English ælmysse, from Late Latin eleēmosyna, from Greek eleēmosunē pity; see eleemosynary

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 alms

alms

n.

Old English ælmesse "alms, almsgiving," from Proto-Germanic *alemosna (cf. Old Saxon alamosna, Old High German alamuosan, Old Norse ölmusa), an early borrowing of Vulgar Latin *alemosyna (source of Old Spanish almosna, Old French almosne, Italian limosina), from Church Latin eleemosyna (Tertullian, 3c.), from Greek eleemosyne "pity, mercy," in Ecclesiastical Greek "charity, alms," from eleemon "compassionate," from eleos "pity, mercy," of unknown origin, perhaps imitative of cries for alms. Spelling perversion in Vulgar Latin is perhaps by influence of alimonia.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper