(In historical contexts) money or food given to poor people: the riders stopped to distribute alms
More example sentences
- Setting the tone for the rest of the journey, the queen made public appearances and distributed alms to the poor.
- They pray five times a day, fast during the month of Ramadan, perform the sacred pilgrimage to Mecca and give alms to the poor.
- The point used to be to give alms to poor people on Hallowe'en and if you didn't then bad luck would come to you.
Old English ælmysse, ælmesse, from Christian Latin eleemosyna, from Greek eleēmosunē 'compassion', from eleēmōn 'compassionate', from eleos 'mercy'.