Definitions

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

  • noun plural Money or goods given as charity to the poor.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • The act of relieving the needy; charitable aid; ministration to the poor: as, to give money in alms.
  • That which is given to the poor or needy; a charitable dole; anything bestowed in charity.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Anything given gratuitously to relieve the poor, as money, food, or clothing; a gift of charity.
  • noun See Frankalmoign.

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

  • noun Something given to the poor as charity, such as money, clothing or food.

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

  • noun money or goods contributed to the poor

Etymologies

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

[Middle English almes, from Old English ælmesse, from Late Latin eleēmosyna, from Greek eleēmosunē, pity, charity, from eleēmōn, pitiful, from eleos, pity.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English ælmesse, from Ancient Greek ἐλεημοσύνη (eleēmosynē, "alms"), from ἐλεέω (eleëō, "I have mercy"), from ἔλεος (eleos, "mercy").

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