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 More recently, in Phase I (from 27 years ago), cashew residue on stones suggests the monkeys were moving towards their present-day alimentary focus. The Economist, "Capuchin monkeys have been using stone tools for around 3,000 years," 27 June 2019 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.

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First Known Use of alimentary

1608, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for alimentary

borrowed from French & New Latin; French alimentaire "relating to nourishment," going back to Middle French, borrowed from New Latin alimentārius, going back to Latin "relating to maintenance by charity, supported by charity," from alimentum "food, sustenance" + -ārius -ary entry 2 — more at aliment entry 1

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Time Traveler for alimentary

Time Traveler

The first known use of alimentary was in 1608

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Cite this Entry

“Alimentary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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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

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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

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