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alimony Syllabification: al·i·mo·ny
Pronunciation: /ˈaləˌmōnē/

Definition of alimony in English:


chiefly North American
A husband’s or wife’s court-ordered provision for a spouse after separation or divorce.
Example sentences
  • However, the ecclesiastical courts could order a husband to pay alimony to a wife seeking a separation from him.
  • The Palestine Order of Council defined matters of personal status to include such matters as marriage, divorce, alimony, maintenance, guardianship, successions, wills.
  • In this case, as it appears that there is a substantial question of domicile to be decided, and as it cannot be determined for several months, the wife is entitled to alimony.
financial support, maintenance, support;


Early 17th century (in the sense 'nourishment, means of subsistence'): from Latin alimonia 'nutriment', from alere 'nourish'.

  • Today alimony means ‘provision for a husband or wife after divorce’ (what is usually called maintenance in Britain). Originally, though, in the early 17th century, it simply meant ‘nourishment or means of subsistence’. It comes from Latin alere ‘nourish’, which is the root of words such as adolescent, alimentary (Late Middle English) and coalesce (mid 16th century) ‘grow up, nourish together’.

Words that rhyme with alimony

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