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 | \ -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

food, nourishment, pabulum, sustenance

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Did You Know?


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


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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

His main research goal is tuning video games to combat neurological aliments, including dementia and ADHD. Rob Reid, Ars Technica, "Ars on your lunch break: Repairing your brain with video games," 10 Oct. 2018 Immobility during a hospital stay is linked to delirium, long-term disabilities and hospital readmission, and is widely considered a preventable aliment. Lisa Ward, WSJ, "Do Doctors and Nurses Skip Hand Washing? Cue the Video," 28 May 2018

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

First Known Use of aliment


15th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for aliment


Middle English, from Latin alimentum, from alere to nourish — more at old

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Dictionary Entries near aliment







alimentary canal

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Time Traveler for aliment

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

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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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with aliment

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Comments on aliment

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


to take the place or position of

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