Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Law An allowance for support made under court order to a divorced person by the former spouse, usually the chief provider during the marriage. Alimony may also be granted without a divorce, as between legally separated persons.
  • n. A means of livelihood; maintenance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A court-enforced allowance made to a former spouse by a divorced or legally separated person.
  • n. The means to support life.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Maintenance; means of living.
  • n. An allowance made to a wife out of her husband's estate or income for her support, upon her divorce or legal separation from him, or during a suit for the same.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In law: An allowance which a husband or former husband may be forced to pay to his wife or former wife, living legally separate from him, for her maintenance.
  • n. In Scots law, aliment.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. court-ordered support paid by one spouse to another after they are separated

Etymologies

Latin alimōnia, sustenance, from alere, to nourish; see al-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Known since 1655, from Latin alimonia ("food, support, nourishment, sustenance") (English aliment, as in alimentary), itself from alere ("to nourish") + -monia ("action, state, condition"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Cynthia George, attorney for Lorrie Nantz, who had been seeking $1.5 million annually in alimony and child support, had no comment on the ruling.

    Fox's World Series TV ratings up 36% from 2008's record low mark

  • The other thing to bear in mind is that in a long-term marriage of 30, 35 or 40 years, long term alimony often doesn't mean "long term" for the simple reason that people in their mid- to late 50's are often approaching retirement age.

    Henry Gornbein: When is Alimony Appropriate?

  • Bonder Kerkorian originally sought $320,000 a month in alimony and child support.

    Kirk Kerkorian To Pay $10.25 Million In Child Support

  • Feminists advocate for equality and independence for women, then turn around and expect men to support women in alimony, child custody, the alienation of fathers, and a blind eye to female battering.

    Subverting Patriarchy: Not just for chicks anymore. « A Bird’s Nest

  • Even in the more common case of short-term alimony, courts are ditching that insulting "" rehab '' term, ordering larger monthly awards and arranging to check in five years to see how wives are doing.

    Money Watch: Divorce

  • In 1982 single white mothers received an average of $1,246 in alimony and child support, black mothers an average of $322.

    Dan Quayle Was Right

  • Summing the case up, he said, "Well, my man, I am afraid you will have to pay one-third of your income in alimony to the woman you have left".

    Russia

  • "In that case", said the judge, "you will have to pay the third third of your income in alimony to this woman".

    Russia

  • The law spells out exactly how long someone must be married to qualify for long-term alimony - and sets up different types of alimony for everyone else.

    SplicedFeed

  • But the new law says long-term alimony cannot be considered for anyone who was married less than 17 years.

    SplicedFeed

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  • Railway telegraphers' shorthand for "Do they agree to?". --US Railway Assn. Standard Cipher Code, 1906.

    January 19, 2013

  • "Alimony is like buying hay for a dead horse."
    - Groucho Marx.

    December 24, 2007