from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • A city of south-central Alabama west of Montgomery. A Confederate arsenal during the Civil War, it was the site of a major battle in April 1865. In 1965, a drive to register local voters, led by Martin Luther King, Jr., culminated in a protest march from Selma to Montgomery (March 21–25).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • proper noun A female given name.

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

  • noun a town in central Alabama on the Alabama river; in 1965 it was the center of a drive to register Black voters


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Taken to use in the 19th century when similar-sounding names, Elma, Thelma, Alma, Wilma etc. were in vogue. It is a place name in the Poems of Ossian, but at least a part of the name-givers must have been aware of the Turkish name Selma, ultimately of Arabic origin.



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