alma mater

al·ma ma·ter | \ ˌal-mə-ˈmä-tər \

Definition of alma mater 

1 : a school, college, or university which one has attended or from which one has graduated went to a class reunion at his alma mater

2 : the song or hymn of a school, college, or university "Hey, Harvard boy, sing your alma mater!" shouted an obnoxious producer. —Phil Kloer

Examples of alma mater in a Sentence

I visited my old alma mater last week.

Recent Examples on the Web

My alma mater, City College of New York, was a national champion. Gerald Eskenazi, WSJ, "I’m Sick of World Cup Fever," 9 July 2018 But Cathedral, his alma mater, came calling after Rick Streiff announced his retirement (Streiff called Peebles to gauge his interest) and Peebles made the move. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "High school football: New faces in new places for 2018 season," 28 June 2018 This fall, Columbia University, Mr. Obama’s alma mater, will launch a program for international fellows, the foundation and school planned to announce Thursday. David W. Chen, New York Times, "Coming to Columbia This Fall, Obama Foundation Scholars," 28 June 2018 And Pence's alma mater, Hanover College, gave him a lamp (valued at $260) and a chair (valued at $450). Maureen Groppe, USA TODAY, "Who paid for Colts tickets to game Pence abruptly left? Disclosure report spills beans," 16 May 2018 Voters decided last fall that former Boston city councilor Tito Jackson won’t go by the title of mayor, but his college alma mater is giving him a different designation: doctorate. James Pindell,, "Tito Jackson to receive honorary doctorate from alma mater," 16 May 2018 His alma mater celebrated his accomplishments May 3 by dedicating a lecture hall in Boone’s name in the Dunes/Medical Professional Building at Indiana University Northwest in Gary, also home to the IU School of Medicine-Northwest. Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, "IU honors its own trail blazer, retired Gary physician," 4 May 2018 Cosby’s alma mater, Temple University, did the same thing last week, rescinding Cosby’s honorary doctorate alongside Yale and three other universities. Laura Bradley, HWD, "Bill Cosby’s Name—And Statue—Are No Longer Welcome at the TV Academy," 3 May 2018 In honor of the newest royal baby's birth today, their alma mater tweeted a sweet throwback photo of the couple to congratulate them on their new son. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Kate and William's Alma Mater Congratulations Message Will Make You Melt," 23 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alma mater.' 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 alma mater

1650, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for alma mater

Latin, fostering mother

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Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for alma mater

The first known use of alma mater was in 1650

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alma mater


English Language Learners Definition of alma mater

: the school, college, or university that someone attended

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Britannica English: Translation of alma mater for Arabic Speakers

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to make amends

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