Definition of alms in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɑːmz/

plural noun

(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.
gift(s), donation(s), charity, handout(s), bounty, benefaction, subsidy, offering(s), contribution(s), endowment, favour(s), largesse;
in parts of the Middle & Far East baksheesh;
Islam  zakat
rare donative


Old English ælmysse, ælmesse, from Christian Latin eleemosyna, from Greek eleēmosunē 'compassion', from eleēmōn 'compassionate', from eleos 'mercy'.

  • Old English ælmesse comes from Christian Latin eleemosyna, from Greek eleēmosunē ‘compassion’; based on eleos ‘mercy’. The ‘s’ therefore was not originally a plural ending, and people wrote about ‘an alms’ until the middle of the 16th century.

Words that rhyme with alms

Brahms, man-at-arms

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: alms

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