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

  • n. The school, college, or university that one has attended.
  • n. The anthem of an institution of higher learning.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A school or college from which an individual has graduated or which they have attended.
  • n. A school's anthem or song.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A college or seminary where one is educated.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Literally, fostering mother: in modern use, applied by students to the university or college in which they have been trained.

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

  • n. your alma mater is a school you graduated from


From Latin Alma Māter, nourishing mother (epithet of certain goddesses) : alma, feminine of almus, nourishing.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin for "nourishing mother". Derives from the full name ("Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna") of the oldest European university, the University of Bologna (founded in 1088). (Wiktionary)


Sorry, no example sentences found.


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  • Logically?

    October 22, 2013

  • 'Mater' is latin word for Mother. Alma mater means ' Soul Mother' which logically refers to School or University where you have learnt.

    October 22, 2013

  • I don't particularly like this word. I think the mater part is kind of ugly.

    February 12, 2009

  • Nice :)

    Who doesn't love this word? Not me!

    February 12, 2009

  • "It's time to call my father
    'Cause it's his alma mater
    Good grades aren't what they seem
    I think he knows the dean
    It's time to call my father
    'Cause it's his alma mater
    He says he's proud of me
    But college always was his dream
    And I would always say it's not for me

    Oh no, not for me, not for me
    Call it torture, call it university
    No, Arts and Crafts is all I need
    I'll take Calligraphy and then I'll make a fake degree"

    -Relient K

    October 17, 2007