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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ And she heard the people, the shouting below, Rubberneck, full handfuls, dispensing her alms.
▪ At first they were protected by Catholic rulers, and seen as penitents entitled to alms and succour.
▪ He saw himself returning as a beggar with limbs deliberately deformed, whining for alms on the sea-front at Bombay.
▪ I gave alms to all the blind beggars, lit candles without believing at all in their efficacy.
▪ In addition, parish priests were feeling the pinch through reduced income from alms and tithes.
▪ The nuns were rewarded with alms and T-shirts, and broke into an appreciative chant as the cash was handed out.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Alms \Alms\ ([add]mz), n. sing. & pl. [OE. almes, almesse, AS. [ae]lmysse, fr. L. eleemosyna, Gr. 'elehmosy`nh mercy, charity, alms, fr. 'eleei^n to pity. Cf. Almonry, Eleemosynary.] Anything given gratuitously to relieve the poor, as money, food, or clothing; a gift of charity.

A devout man . . . which gave much alms to the people.
--Acts x. 2.

Alms are but the vehicles of prayer.

Tenure by free alms. See Frankalmoign.

Note: This word alms is singular in its form (almesse), and is sometimes so used; as, ``asked an alms.''
--Acts iii. 3. ``Received an alms.''
--Shak. It is now, however, commonly a collective or plural noun. It is much used in composition, as almsgiver, almsgiving, alms bag, alms chest, etc.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Old English ælmesse "alms, almsgiving," from Proto-Germanic *alemosna (cognates: Old Saxon alamosna, Old High German alamuosan, Old Norse ölmusa), an early borrowing of Vulgar Latin *alemosyna (source of Old Spanish almosna, Old French almosne, Italian limosina), from Church Latin eleemosyna (Tertullian, 3c.), from Greek eleemosyne "pity, mercy," in Ecclesiastical Greek "charity, alms," from eleemon "compassionate," from eleos "pity, mercy," which is of unknown origin, perhaps imitative of cries for alms. Spelling perversion in Vulgar Latin is perhaps by influence of alimonia.


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


n. voluntary contributions to aid the poor [syn: alms-giving, almsgiving]


Alms (, ) or almsgiving involves giving to others as an act of virtue, either materially or in the sense of providing capabilities (e.g. education) for free. It exists in a number of religions and regions. The word, in the modern English language, comes from the Old Englishælmesse, ælmes, from Late Latineleemosyna, from Greek ἐλεημοσύνη eleēmosynē "pity, alms", from ἐλεήμων eleēmōn "merciful", from ἔλεος eleos "pity".

Alms (album)

Alms, released October 18, 2004, is the second album of the Montreal-based electronic duo Re:.

Alms (disambiguation)

Alms may refer to:

  • Alms, charitable giving
  • the American Le Mans Series

Usage examples of "alms".

As he said the last words my converter rose, and went to the window to dry his tears, I felt deeply moved, anal full of admiration for the virtue of De la Haye and of his pupil, who, to save his soul, had placed himself under the hard necessity of accepting alms.

She replied that she was debarred from accepting any money by her vow of poverty and obedience, and that she had given up to the abbess what remained of the alms the bishop had procured her.

With the acrid juice of this herb, and of others belonging to the same Ranunculous order, beggars in England used to produce sores about their body for the sake of exciting pity, and getting alms.

At the second ballet at the opera an actress dressed in a tippet held out her cap to the bones as if to beg an alms, while she was dancing a pas de deux.

Just outside that main gate was the almonry where alms and food were given to the poor.

Be it yours if it suffice you not to have already seized an archbishopric, six vacant sees, and many abbeys, to the peril of your soul, and turned to secular uses the alms of your fathers, of pious kings, the patrimony of Jesus Christ!

If we did not attend mass, the curate would strike our names off the list of those who share the alms of the Confraternity of the Poor, and those alms alone keep us afloat.

In the village of Phullendorf in Germany early in this century there was an old woman who sought alms from place to place, exhibiting to the curious four symmetrical breasts, arranged parallel.

At the beginning of each week, Gena and Mary moved through the tiny villages that surrounded Inveraray and dispensed alms among the people.

He even maintained that he who gave alms sinned unless it was done with the greatest secrecy, for alms given in public are sure to be accompanied by vanity.

I knew that I had spent but a few minutes at Cerigo, on my way to Constantinople, and concluded that my visitor must be one of the unfortunate wretches to whom I gave alms.

He confessed in a humble voice that he was the son of clock-maker at Narva, that his buckles were valueless, and that he had come to beg an alms of me.

Seeing me looking at him, he accosted me, and humbly asked for alms, shewing me a document authorizing him to beg, and a passport stating he had left Madrid six weeks before.

A Capuchin had called on me and I had told Clairmont to give him an alms, but he had said he wanted to speak to me in private.

The fair beggars talked of returning me the alms I had given them, but I replied in such a way that they said no more about it.