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 April 15 remains a key deadline for some freelance and gig workers, small business owners and some people with substantial earnings from interest and dividends, rent and alimony. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "April 15 remains key deadline for some taxpayers despite income tax deadline extension," 14 Apr. 2021 In some states, alimony can be much higher than child support. Ginger Gentile, Forbes, "Prenups Are A Girl’s Best Friend," 6 Apr. 2021 Toya shares that Kenya is having issues with Marc re: divorce and alimony which was an unwise decision on her part. Chris Murphy, Vulture, "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," 14 Mar. 2021 This number may be smaller than what many think of as their total income since it is adjusted to account for factors like retirement-plan contributions, HSA contributions, alimony, self-employment tax and other things. Derek Tharp, WSJ, "Didn’t Qualify for the Stimulus Check? Here’s How You Might Change That.," 12 Mar. 2021 If the women needed to change custody schedules or alimony, their former husbands would tell them to go to court. New York Times, "Police Unions Won Power Using His Playbook. Now He’s Negotiating the Backlash.," 10 Mar. 2021 Wang was also awarded custody of their son and $300 per month in alimony, according to CNR. Nectar Gan, CNN, "Chinese court orders husband to pay wife $7,700 for housework in landmark divorce case," 24 Feb. 2021 The issue was over whether the federal government could garnish 25 percent of Uresti’s monthly annuity before what Elizondo received as alimony under the terms of her divorce settlement. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, "Ex-wife of jailed San Antonio politician sues adult nightclub for allegedly using her Facebook photo," 5 Feb. 2021 The council didn't want to roll forward the fire and general alimony millages, but did want to maintain the current 3.5-mil tax for sewers, and the ordinance passed Oct. 8 accomplished that. Staff Report,, "Early balloting begins Friday for St. Tammany Parish voters," 13 Oct. 2020

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.

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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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Time Traveler for alimony

Time Traveler

The first known use of alimony was circa 1613

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Statistics for alimony

Last Updated

17 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Alimony.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for alimony



English Language Learners Definition of alimony

: money that a court orders someone to pay regularly to a former wife or husband after a divorce


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

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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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