al·​i·​mo·​ny | \ ˈa-lə-ˌmō-nē How to pronounce alimony (audio) \
plural alimonies

Definition of alimony

1 : an allowance made to one spouse by the other for support pending or after legal separation or divorce
2 : the means of living : maintenance

Examples of alimony in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The bill concerning alimony, an issue that lawmakers have fought over for years, would have eliminated payments for some and limited them for others. Orlando Sentinel, 24 June 2022 Harris ruled in 2018 that a court could cut off alimony payments if the recipient lives with someone else, Fox 13 reported. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 21 May 2022 Bembenek was convicted in 1982 of fatally shooting Christine after complaining about the alimony Schultz had to pay. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, 15 May 2022 Despite how complicated things have become online, both are in agreement that neither party will seek alimony. Victoria Uwumarogie, Essence, 3 Mar. 2022 The story follows a down-on-his-luck chef who cooks up a crazy scheme to marry off his ex-wife in an attempt to avoid his substantial alimony obligations. Patrick Frater, Variety, 11 Apr. 2022 Commonly but not always, an arrangement was made whereby the woman received the equivalent of alimony and child support. Washington Post, 11 Mar. 2022 Fowler is asking for alimony, child support and primary custody of their forthcoming child, according to TMZ. Mitchell Peters, Billboard, 21 Feb. 2022 Child support payments have been reduced, and long-term alimony has fallen out of favor. Sushma Subramanian, Washington Post, 18 Jan. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of alimony

circa 1613, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for alimony

borrowed from New Latin alimōnia, going back to Latin, "food, nourishment, nurture, upbringing," from alere "to nurse, supply with nutrition, support, maintain" + -mōnia, suffix of abstract nouns (going back to the Indo-European noun-forming suffix *-mĕ̄n-/*-mŏ̄n- + the abstract noun formative *-i-) — more at old entry 1

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The first known use of alimony was circa 1613

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Last Updated

28 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Alimony.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for alimony


al·​i·​mo·​ny | \ ˈa-lə-ˌmō-nē How to pronounce alimony (audio) \

Kids Definition of alimony

: money for living expenses paid regularly by one spouse to another after their legal separation or divorce


al·​i·​mo·​ny | \ ˈa-lə-ˌmō-nē How to pronounce alimony (audio) \

Legal Definition of alimony

1 : an allowance made to one spouse by the other for support pending or after legal separation or divorce — compare child support
alimony in gross
: lump sum alimony in this entry
alimony pendente lite \ -​pen-​ˈden-​tē-​ˈlī-​ˌtē, -​pen-​ˈden-​tā-​ˈlē-​tā \
: alimony granted pending a suit for divorce or separation that includes a reasonable allowance for the prosecution of the suit

called also temporary alimony

lump sum alimony
: alimony awarded after divorce that is a specific vested amount not subject to change

called also alimony in gross

permanent alimony
: alimony awarded after divorce which consists of payments at regular intervals that may change in amount or terminate (as upon the payee's remarriage)
temporary alimony
: alimony pendente lite in this entry
2 : means of living, support, or maintenance fathers and mothers owe alimony to their illegitimate childrenLouisiana Civil Code

History and Etymology for alimony

Latin alimonia sustenance, from alere to nourish

More from Merriam-Webster on alimony

Nglish: Translation of alimony for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of alimony for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about alimony


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