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[al-uh-moh-nee] /ˈæl əˌmoʊ ni/
Law. an allowance paid to a person by that person's spouse or former spouse for maintenance, granted by a court upon a legal separation or a divorce or while action is pending.
supply of the means of living; maintenance.
1645-55; < Latin alimōnia nourishment, sustenance, derivative of alimōn- (stem of alimō), equivalent to ali- (see aliment) + -mōn- action noun suffix parallel to -mentum -ment
Related forms
alimonied, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for alimony
  • Besides student loans, you can't escape debts such as taxes and alimony.
British Dictionary definitions for alimony


(law) (formerly) an allowance paid under a court order by one spouse to another when they are separated but not divorced See also maintenance
Word Origin
C17: from Latin alimōnia sustenance, from alere to nourish
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for alimony

1650s, "nourishment," also "allowance to a wife from a husband's estate, or in certain cases of separation," from Latin alimonia "food, support, nourishment, sustenance," from alere "to nourish" (see old) + -monia suffix signifying action, state, condition (cognate with Greek -men). Derived form palimony coined 1979.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for alimony

in divorce law, compensation owed by one spouse to the other for financial support after divorce. Alimony aims at support of the one spouse, not punishment of the other. In some places, the term means simply a property settlement irrespective of future support. Alimony has traditionally been granted from husbands to wives but has occasionally been granted from wives to husbands.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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