Definition of alma mater in English:
noun(one's Alma Mater)
- These schools are Kallis’ ‘Alma Mater’: Wynberg Boys High in Cape Town, Selborne College in East London, Maritzburg College in Pietermaritzburg and Pretoria Boys High in Pretoria.
- I could get used to Melbourne as an Alma Mater (the weekend turned out to be a wonderful period of revelation in this regard, but more on that later).
- For the first time since Ive graduated, I can say that I am proud of my alma mater.
Mid 17th century (in the general sense 'someone or something providing nourishment'): Latin, literally 'generous mother'.
This phrase, used with reference to a university or college once attended, first had the general sense ‘someone or something providing nourishment’; in Latin the literal meaning is ‘bounteous, nourishing mother’. It was a title given by the Romans to several goddesses but in particular to Ceres and Cybele, both representing fostering mother-figures. Alumnus (mid 17th century) is related, being Latin for ‘nursling, pupil’, from alere ‘nourish’, source of alma.
- US English dictionary
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