Origin of alumna
usage note for alumna
Words nearby alumna
ALUMNA VS. ALUMNAE VS. ALUMNUS VS. ALUMNI VS. ALUM
What’s the difference between alumna, alumnus, and alumni?
An alumna is a female graduate of a school, such as a high school or university.
In Latin, alumnus specifically refers to a male graduate, and sometimes this distinction is carried into English. However, alumnus is also commonly used in a gender-neutral way, as is its plural, alumni.
What is the plural of alumna?
The plural of alumna is alumnae. This follows the plural ending construction used in other Latin-derived words, like antenna and antennae.
The informal shortening alum is used to refer to a single graduate (regardless of gender). It’s sometimes pluralized as alums.
Here’s an example of alumna and alumnae used correctly in the same sentence.
Example: As an alumna, you share something with all of the alumnae, regardless of when each of you graduated.
Want to learn more? Read the breakdown of the difference between alumnus and alumni.
Quiz yourself on alumna vs. alumnae!
Should alumna or alumnae be used in the following sentence?
The five-year reunion is usually well attended by _____.
How to use alumna in a sentence
It includes a cameo appearance by Virginia Tower Norwood ’47, the alumna behind the original Landsat multispectral scanner.
Laura Ball is a journalist-in-residence at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, a Thiel Fellow, and an alumna of the Math Prize for Girls program.Why Mathematicians Should Stop Naming Things After Each Other - Issue 89: The Dark Side|Laura Ball|September 2, 2020|Nautilus
The ‘SNL’ alumna is back with her first film since ‘Bridesmaids.’Kristen Wiig on ‘Girl Most Likely’ and Why She Nixed ‘Bridesmaids 2’|Marlow Stern|July 18, 2013|DAILY BEAST
A WASP-y Smith alumna named Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) has a lesbian affair after college.You’ve Gotta Binge on the New Netflix Series ‘Orange Is the New Black’|Andrew Romano|July 11, 2013|DAILY BEAST
"Women are expected to do everything, do it well, and look hot while doing it," one alumna told the commission.
“You are buying into that network,” says one recent Harvard alumna.
“They claim me as an alumna, though I did not alum,” she said.
It was founded by an alumna for marked proficiency in English with general excellency in other lines.Daddy Long-Legs|Jean Webster
To the alumna and the student, the picture called up by those words is sufficiently definite and demands no amplification.Teddy: Her Book|Anna Chapin Ray
A young alumna of the preceding class had welcomed the proud graduates.Highacres|Jane Abbott
A debate was sometimes introduced, a Shakespeare reading, or an address by an alumna student.Earliest Years at Vassar|Frances A. Wood