alms / ä(l)mz/ • pl. n. (in historical contexts) money or food given to poor people.ORIGIN: Old English ælmysse, ælmesse, from Christian Latin eleemosyna, from Greek eleēmosunē ‘compassion,’ from eleēmōn ‘compassionate,’ from eleos ‘mercy.’
alms OE. ælmesse, -mysse, whence almes (XIII–XVII; so in A.V.); reduced to alms XVII; corr. to OS. alamōsna, OHG. alamuosan (G. almosen), ON. ǫlmusa :- Gmc. *alemos(i)na — popL., Rom. *alemosina, alt., prob. through L. alimōnia ALIMONY, of Chrl. eleēmosyna — Gr. eleēmosúnē, f. eleḗmōn compassionate, f. éleos mercy. Treated as a pl. like eaves, riches, which are orig. sings.
alms money or food given to poor people. Recorded from Old English (in the form ælmysse, ælmesse), the word comes via Christian Latin from Greek eleēmosunē ‘compassion’, and ultimately from eleos ‘mercy’.
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