Definitions

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

  • n. One who distributes alms.
  • n. Chiefly British A hospital social worker.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. one who distributes alms, especially the doles and alms of religious houses, almshouses;
  • n. one who dispenses alms for another, as the almoner of a prince, bishop
  • n. a title given to a royal officer charged with the duty of distributing alms or bounty on behalf of a monarch

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who distributes alms, esp. the doles and alms of religious houses, almshouses, etc.; also, one who dispenses alms for another, as the almoner of a prince, bishop, etc.
  • n. A social worker in a hospital.
  • n. An official in a hospital whose job it is to calculate how much a patient must pay for treatment.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A dispenser of alms or charity; especially, a person charged with the distribution of alms as an official duty.
  • n. An alms-purse.
  • n. In general, a purse, especially a large purse, or pouch, usually (from the twelfth century until the fifteenth) hung from the girdle.

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

  • n. an official in a British hospital who looks after the social and material needs of the patients

Etymologies

Middle English aumoner, from Old French aumonier, from amosne, alms, from Late Latin eleēmosyna, alms; see alms.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English aumener, aulmener, Old French almosnier, aumosnier, French aumônier, from Old French almosne ("alms"), Latin eleemosyna. See alms, Almosen. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Since the almoner must obtain the funds or goods he distributes from the producers, he has no authority to command; he must ask.

    Notable & Quotable

  • Anne stared at the almoner though could not focus on his face.

    The Tudors: King Takes Queen

  • But now, according to her almoner, preparations for her death have increasingly occupied her thoughts, so I believe she is reconciled to it.

    The Tudors: King Takes Queen

  • Moreover, Duwes depicted Mary as possessing a precocious grasp of the complex details of office holding and patronage when Mary threatened the almoner specifically with the denial of "a good benefyce" or church office that the old almoner had evidently been coveting.

    From Heads of Household to Heads of State: The Preaccession Households of Mary and Elizabeth Tudor, 1516-1558

  • I knew already that Sir Charles Baskerville had made Stapleton his almoner upon several occasions, so the lady's statement bore the impress of truth upon it.

    The Seriously Deranged Writer and the Model Cars

  • At the end of the mass the grand almoner approached the prie-Dieu of the king and presented to him the marriage register of the royal parish, which the cure had carried.

    Marie-Antoinette's Wedding

  • The archbishop of Rheims, Monseigneur de la Roche-Aymon, grand almoner, offered them the holy water, then after having exhorted the young couple, blessed the thirteen pieces of gold and the ring.

    Marie-Antoinette's Wedding

  • At the Pater a canopy of silver brocade was spread above their heads, — the bishop of Senlis, Monseigneur de Roquelaure, grand almoner to the king, holding it on the side of the dauphin, and the bishop of Chartres, grand almoner to the dauphiness, holding it on the side of that princess.

    Marie-Antoinette's Wedding

  • Arthuret service till he was become half-physician, half-almoner, half-butler, and entire governor; that is, when the Father Confessor, who frequently eased him of the toils of government, chanced to be abroad.

    Redgauntlet

  • But though her donations were circumscribed by prudence, and their objects were selected with discrimination, she gave to herself all her former benevolent pleasure, in solacing his afflictions, while she softened his asperity, by restoring to him his favourite office of being her almoner and monitor.

    Cecilia

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Comments

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  • Citation on nonsuit.

    October 9, 2008

  • "The hospital almoner wanted to contact his father but Thaw withheld the address." - 'Lanark', Alasdair Gray.

    December 4, 2007