al·​i·​ment | \ ˈa-lə-mənt How to pronounce aliment (audio) \

Definition of aliment

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: food, nutriment also : sustenance there was nothing there of conversational aliment — Kingsley Amis


al·​i·​ment | \ ˈa-lə-ˌment How to pronounce aliment (audio) \
alimented; alimenting; aliments

Definition of aliment (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to give aliment to : nourish, sustain

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Synonyms for aliment

Synonyms: Noun

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These days you're most likely to encounter "aliment" as a typo for "ailment," but the word was less of a rarity in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. And the word's history goes back even further than that. It dates to the 15th century and comes from Latin alere, meaning "to nourish," by way of "alimentum." Although "aliment" is uncommon in today's English, you may recognize it in the somewhat technical term "alimentary canal"-the name for the long tube in the body through which food passes after it is eaten. "Aliment" also functions as a verb meaning "to give aliment to," or "to nourish or sustain."

Examples of aliment in a Sentence

Noun complained that he had to drive for hours to find any sort of cultural aliment when visiting his parents' rural home

First Known Use of aliment


15th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for aliment


borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French, borrowed from Latin alimentum, from alere "to nurse, supply with nutrition, support, maintain" + -mentum -ment — more at old entry 1


borrowed form Middle French alimenter, borrowed from Late Latin alimentāre "to nourish, maintain," derivative of Latin alimentum "food, sustenance" — more at aliment entry 1

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The first known use of aliment was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Aliment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for aliment


al·​i·​ment | \ ˈal-ə-mənt How to pronounce aliment (audio) \

Medical Definition of aliment

: a food or nutrient substance


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