al·​i·​men·​ta·​ry | \ ˌa-lə-ˈmen-t(ə-)rē How to pronounce alimentary (audio) \

Definition of alimentary

1 : of or relating to nourishment or nutrition
2 : furnishing sustenance or maintenance

Examples of alimentary in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Ember will encourage and enable alimentary experimentation. Justin Peters, Slate Magazine, "Should This Thing Be Smart? Coffee Mug Edition.," 20 Dec. 2017 By the standard alimentary sequence, insects feed on plants or one another, and then birds hunt down insects. Natalie Angier, New York Times, "Birds Beware: The Praying Mantis Wants Your Brain," 22 Sep. 2017 As an embryo develops, algae suffuses its body, but most becomes concentrated along its gut and alimentary canal. Brandon Keim, WIRED, "Salamander Has Algae Living Inside Its Cells," 4 Apr. 2011

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alimentary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of alimentary

1608, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about alimentary

Statistics for alimentary

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for alimentary

The first known use of alimentary was in 1608

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for alimentary


al·​i·​men·​ta·​ry | \ ˌal-ə-ˈment-ə-rē, -ˈmen-trē\

Medical Definition of alimentary

: of, concerned with, or relating to nourishment or to the function of nutrition : nutritive alimentary processes of the body

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on alimentary

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with alimentary

Spanish Central: Translation of alimentary

Nglish: Translation of alimentary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of alimentary for Arabic Speakers

Comments on alimentary

What made you want to look up alimentary? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing great care, attention, and effort

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!