alum·​na ə-ˈləm-nə How to pronounce alumna (audio)
plural alumnae ə-ˈləm-(ˌ)nē How to pronounce alumna (audio)
 also  -ˌnī
: a girl or woman who has attended or has graduated from a particular school, college, or university
an alumna of Smith College
: a girl or woman who is a former member, employee, contributor, or inmate
an alumna of a TV series

Did you know?

Alumnus or Alumna?

Many people are comfortable using the word alumni to refer to someone who was a student of a particular school. However, others feel quite strongly that this is an error and that the following forms should be used: alumnus (for one male), alumni (for multiple males, or for a mix of males and females), alumna (for one female), and alumnae (for multiple females). The shortened form alum and its plural form alums began to be used in the 19th century. Initially, alum was widely viewed as highly colloquial or informal, but is increasing in use as a gender-neutral alternative.

Examples of alumna in a Sentence

a group of Harvard alumnae
Recent Examples on the Web Luk, a Stripe alumna, is now the CEO of the business, launched in 2022; Allen is its chief technology officer. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, 9 May 2024 State alumna Christie Lewis told FOX 10 in Phoenix how she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer while attending the university around 2011 or 2012. Jonathan Limehouse, USA TODAY, 2 Apr. 2024 Pianist Carissa is a recent alumna of the Curtis Institute of Music and is currently studying in Juilliard’s graduate program. Christian Hertzog, San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Mar. 2024 One of the research leaders is Bonnie Bade, longtime professor of medical anthropology at Cal State San Marcos, where Merino-Gonzalez is an alumna. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Mar. 2024 Brief cameos from the Indigo Girls’ Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, The B-52’s Kate Pierson, celebrity chef Anne Burrell, Drag Race alumna Peppermint and Tig Notaro sporting a painful French accent are cute little Easter eggs for knowing viewers, but don’t add much to the filmmaking. Robyn Bahr, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 Mar. 2024 The exhibit is curated by Oriana Poindexter , Scripps Institution of Oceanography alumna and artist. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Jan. 2024 The Windward School alumna scored all 25 of her points in the second half as UCLA cut USC’s lead to four in the final three minutes, but failed to get the defensive stops necessary to extend its unbeaten season. Thuc Nhi Nguyen, Los Angeles Times, 15 Jan. 2024 The Office alumna Jenna Fischer is playing Cady's mother, and Busy Philipps is seen in the trailer as Mrs. George (who is not a regular mom, but a cool mom). Antonia Debianchi, Peoplemag, 11 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'alumna.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin, feminine of alumnus

First Known Use

1843, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of alumna was in 1843

Dictionary Entries Near alumna

Cite this Entry

“Alumna.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


alum·​na ə-ˈləm-nə How to pronounce alumna (audio)
plural alumnae -(ˌ)nē How to pronounce alumna (audio)
: a girl or woman who has attended or graduated from a particular school, college, or university

More from Merriam-Webster on alumna

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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