eleemosynary

adjective el·ee·mo·sy·nary \ ˌe-li-ˈmä-sə-ˌner-ē , -ˈmō- ; -ˈmä-zə- \

Definition of eleemosynary

:of, relating to, or supported by charity

eleemosynary was our Word of the Day on 08/27/2009. Hear the podcast!

Examples of eleemosynary in a Sentence

  1. used his vast fortune for establishing and funding a host of eleemosynary institutions

Recent Examples of eleemosynary from the Web

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

Did You Know?

While you may not agree with the grammarian who asserted that "a long and learned word like this should only be used under the stress of great need," you might find that remembering how to spell "eleemosynary" makes you tend to use its synonym "charitable" instead. The good people of early England had mercy on themselves when it came to spelling and shortened the root of "eleemosynary," the Latin eleemosyna, to "ælmes," which they used as their word for "charity." (You may be more familiar with "alms," an "ælmes" derivative that came to denote food or money given to the poor.) The original Latin root was resurrected in the early 17th century to give us the spelling challenge of the adjective we feature today.

Origin and Etymology of eleemosynary

Medieval Latin eleemosynarius, from Late Latin eleemosyna alms — more at alms


Law Dictionary

eleemosynary

adjective elee·mo·sy·nary \ ˌe-li-ˈmäs-ᵊn-ˌer-ē, -ˈmōs-ᵊn-, -ˈmäz-ᵊn- \

legal Definition of eleemosynary

:of, relating to, or supported by charity


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