American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Something that nourishes; food.
- n. Something that supports or sustains.
- v. To supply with sustenance, such as food: required by court order to aliment the abandoned family.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. That which nourishes or sustains; food; nutriment; sustenance; support, whether literal or figurative.
- n. In Scots law, the sum paid for support to any one entitled to claim it, as the dole given to a pauper by his parish.
- To furnish with means of sustenance; purvey to; support: generally in a figurative sense: as, to aliment a person's vanity.
- In Scots law, to maintain or support, as a person unable to support himself: used especially of the support of children by parents, or of parents by children.
- n. Food.
- n. figuratively Nourishment, sustenance.
- v. obsolete To feed, nourish.
- v. To sustain, support.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. That which nourishes; food; nutriment; anything which feeds or adds to a substance in natural growth. Hence: The necessaries of life generally: sustenance; means of support.
- n. Scot. An allowance for maintenance.
- v. To nourish; to support.
- v. Scot. To provide for the maintenance of.
- v. give nourishment to
- n. a source of materials to nourish the body
- From French aliment, and its source, Latin alimentum ("food"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Latin alimentum, from alere, to nourish; see al-2 in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Its equilibrium seems never to be disturbed, or, if disturbed at all, it is immediately restored by the mutual exchange of poison for aliment, which is constantly going on between the animal and vegetable worlds.”
“But when the matter which fills the stomach can be regarded neither as an aliment, that is, as proper to be assimilated, nor as a tonic stimulating the nerves, the cessation of hunger is probably owing only to the secretion of the gastric juice.”
“The fact is, the stomach is not a single organ, but in reality a congeries of organs, each receiving its own proper kind of aliment, and developing itself by outward bumps and prominences, which indicate with amazing accuracy the existence of the particular faculty to which it has been assigned.”
“In proportion as a woman subsists upon aliment which is free from earthy and bony matter will she avoid pain and danger in delivery; hence, the more ripe fruit, acid fruit in particular, and the less of other kinds of food, but particularly of bread or pastry of any kind, is consumed, the less will be the danger and sufferings of childbirth.”
“We have often heard him name the circumstance with gratitude; and it is not altogether surprising that a relish for this kind of aliment, so abhorrent and harsh to common English palates, has accompanied him through life.”
“It is even sometimes considered holy food: -- "The zamindar of Idar, who is named Naron Das, lives with such austerity that his only food is grain which has passed through oxen and has been separated from their dung; and this kind of aliment the Brahmans consider pure in the highest degree.”
“Added to this, the aliment which is taken at dinner time so exhausts the animal warmth, as to leave the whole body in a state of refrigeration.”
“The 'aliment' formerly granted to them, and unpaid when they seized the Bass, was to be handed over to them.”
“THUS THE PIG TRIBE, though not a ruminating mammal, as might be inferred from the number of its molar teeth, is yet a link between the herbivorous and the carnivorous tribes, and is consequently what is known as an omnivorous quadruped; or, in other words, capable of converting any kind of aliment into nutriment.”
“In Scotland, the property of the wife is protected; rules are made for her "aliment" or support; and her clothes and "paraphernalia" cannot be seized by her husband.”
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These words are from Samuel Richardson's novel Clarissa, Or, The History of a Young Lady, 1747-48
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