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[al-muh-ner, ah-muh-] /ˈæl mə nər, ˈɑ mə-/
a person whose function or duty is the distribution of alms on behalf of an institution, a royal personage, a monastery, etc.
  1. a hospital official who determines the amount due for a patient's treatment.
  2. a social worker in a hospital.
1250-1300; Middle English almoiner, aumoner (with insertion of l under influence of alms) < Old French aumon(i)erLate Latin eleēmosynārius eleemosynary
Related forms
subalmoner, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for almoner
  • At the hour of prime his almoner washed the feet of twelve others, and gave them bread and meat.
British Dictionary definitions for almoner


(Brit, obsolete) a trained hospital social worker responsible for the welfare of patients
(formerly) a person who distributes alms or charity on behalf of a household or institution
Word Origin
C13: from Old French almosnier, from almosne alms, from Vulgar Latin alemosina (unattested), from Late Latin eleēmosyna; see alms
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 almoner

"official distributor of alms on behalf of another," c.1300 (mid-13c. as a surname), from Old French almosnier (12c.; Modern French aumônerie), from Vulgar Latin *almosinarius, from Late Latin elemosinarius (adj.) "connected with alms," from eleemosyna "alms" (see alms).

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

originally, an officer responsible for distributing alms to the poor, usually connected with a religious house or other institution but also a position with some governments. In the 13th century, almoners were attached to the French court to distribute the royal alms, and in 1486 the office of grand almoner of France was established. The grand almoner was a high ecclesiastical dignitary who was in charge of the clergy attached to the court and who supervised charitable works. The office was suppressed in France in 1790, revived by Napoleon I and again by Napoleon III, and finally abolished in 1870.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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