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alma mater

[ahl-muh mah-ter, al-; al-muh mey-ter] /ˈɑl mə ˈmɑ tər, ˈæl-; ˈæl mə ˈmeɪ tər/
a school, college, or university at which one has studied and, usually, from which one has graduated.
the official anthem of a school, college, or university.
Origin of alma mater
< Latin: nourishing (i.e., dear) mother Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for alma-mater

alma mater

/ˈælmə ˈmɑːtə; ˈmeɪtə/
(often capitals) one's school, college, or university
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: bountiful mother
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for alma-mater

Alma Mater


late 14c., Latin, literally "bountiful mother," a title Romans gave to goddesses, especially Ceres and Cybele, from alma, fem. of almus "nourishing," from alere "to nourish" (see old) + mater "mother" (see mother (n.1)). First used 1710 in sense of "one's university or school" in reference to British universities.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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alma-mater in Culture
alma mater [(al-muh mah-tuhr, ahl-muh mah-tuhr)]

The school or university from which one graduated. The term also refers to a school's official song: “The reunion began with everyone singing the alma mater.” From Latin, meaning “nurturing mother.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with alma-mater

alma mater

Also,Alma Mater. The school or college one attended and, usually, graduated from, as in During football season I always check to see how my alma mater is doing. This expression sometimes refers to the institution's official song, as in I never did learn the words to my college's alma mater. The term is Latin for “kind mother.” [ c. 1800 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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