alms

noun \ ˈä(l)mz \

Definition of alms

plural alms
1 :something (such as money or food) given freely to relieve the poor
  • distributing alms to the needy
2 archaic :charity

almsgiver

play \-ˌgi-vər\ noun

almsgiving

play \-ˌgi-viŋ\ noun

Recent Examples of alms from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of alms

Middle English almesse, almes, from Old English ælmesse, ælmes, from Late Latin eleemosyna alms, from Greek eleēmosynē pity, alms, from eleēmōn merciful, from eleos pity


ALMS Defined for English Language Learners

alms

noun

Definition of alms for English Language Learners

  • : money, clothes, food, and other things given to poor people


ALMS Defined for Kids

alms

noun \ ˈämz , ˈälmz \

Definition of alms for Students

plural alms
:money given to help the poor :charity


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by intense feeling

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!