alumnus

noun
alum·​nus | \ ə-ˈləm-nəs How to pronounce alumnus (audio) \
plural alumni\ -​ˌnī How to pronounce alumni (audio) \

Definition of alumnus

1 : a person who has attended or has graduated from a particular school, college, or university an alumnus of Columbia University usually used of a man in the singular but often of men and women in the plural
2 : a person who is a former member, employee, contributor, or inmate a Saturday Night Live alumnus

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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 alumnus in a Sentence

Her parents are alumni of the state university.

Recent Examples on the Web

There’s nothing pro forma about the personal testimony from alumni of McNally’s work, including Edie Falco, Joe Mantello, Chita Rivera and John Glover. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "Review: PBS documentary of playwright Terrence McNally celebrates a master of connection," 13 June 2019 The Cal football program received a seven-figure donation from alumnus Aaron Rodgers, the school announced Tuesday. Charlotte Carroll, SI.com, "Aaron Rodgers Makes Major Donation to Cal's Football Program For New Locker Room," 11 June 2019 To honor Scott’s legacy, the Kollar sisters and others have organized several events over the weekend that drew alumni from all over the country. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Two retiring Vista teachers reflect on a lifetime in the arts," 9 June 2019 With another alumnus from the youth camp, Michael O'McCarthy, Straley formed the White House Boys. Carol Marbin Miller, miamiherald, "A victim of vile abuse at Florida reform school, he spent his life fighting for justice," 10 July 2018 The back-channel immigration meetings include several alumni from the office of former Sen. Jeff Sessions, who was for years the leading immigration hawk on Capitol Hill before becoming attorney general. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump’s Immigration Chaos: Incompetence or Deliberate Trolling?," 27 June 2018 Power Center Academy alumni from that first team now play for colleges on athletic scholarships. Christopher Dawson, CNN, "Rugby transforms Memphis teens' lives," 29 May 2018 The guest speaker at the fundraising event was Springer alumnus Michael Schulte, whose family company Late for the Sky custom-designed a Springer-opoly game for the school. Carole Barnhart/share, Cincinnati.com, "Game-themed celebration a success for Springer School and Center," 6 June 2019 Carstarphen is popular with several generations of Camden alumni and could be seen as a coach who will reunite several factions of former Camden players. Phil Anastasia, Philly.com, "Vic Carstarphen hired as Camden basketball coach," 24 May 2018

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

1645, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for alumnus

Latin, foster son, pupil, from alere to nourish — more at old

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Statistics for alumnus

Last Updated

24 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for alumnus

The first known use of alumnus was in 1645

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More Definitions for alumnus

alumnus

noun

English Language Learners Definition of alumnus

chiefly US : someone who was a student at a particular school, college, or university

alumnus

noun
alum·​nus | \ ə-ˈləm-nəs How to pronounce alumnus (audio) \
plural alumni\ -​ˌnī \

Kids Definition of alumnus

: a person who has attended or has graduated from a school, college, or university

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More from Merriam-Webster on alumnus

Spanish Central: Translation of alumnus

Nglish: Translation of alumnus for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of alumnus for Arabic Speakers

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