From Middle English almes, almesse, ælmesse, from Old English ælmesse, from Vulgar Latin *alemosyna, from Late Latin eleēmosyna, from Ancient Greek ἐλεημοσύνη (eleēmosúnē, “alms”), from ἐλεέω (eleéō, “I have mercy”), from ἔλεος (éleos, “mercy”). Compare Saterland Frisian Aalmoose (“alms”), Dutch aalmoes (“alms”), German Almosen (“alms”).
- Rhymes: -ɑːmz
alms (plural alms)
- Something given to the poor as charity, such as money, clothing or food.
- She gave $10 weekly to the poor as alms.
- Alms are distributed from the weekly collection for the purpose.