a graduate or former student of a specific school, college, or university.
a former associate, employee, member, or the like: He invited all the alumni of the library staff to the party.
Origin: 1635–45; < Latin: foster son, pupil, equivalent to al- (stem of alere to feed, support) + -u- (< stem-vowel *-o- in interior syllable) + -m(i)nus, orig. passive participial suffix (cf. adult, old), akin to Greek-menos; see phenomenon
Can be confused: alum, alumna, alumnae, alumni, alumnus (see usage note at the current entry).
Usage note Alumnus (in Latin a masculine noun) refers to a male graduate or former student; the plural is alumni. An alumna (in Latin a feminine noun) refers to a female graduate or former student; the plural is alumnae. Traditionally, the masculine plural alumni has been used for groups composed of both sexes and is still widely so used: the alumni of Indiana University. Sometimes, to avoid any suggestion of sexism, both terms are used for mixed groups: the alumni/alumnae of Indiana University or the alumni and alumnae of Indiana University. While not quite equivalent in meaning, the terms graduate and graduates avoid the complexities of the Latin forms and eliminate any need for using a masculine plural form to refer to both sexes.
a calculus or concretion found in the stomach or intestines of certain animals, esp. ruminants, formerly reputed to be an effective remedy for poison.
a children's mummer's parade, as on the Fourth of July, with prizes for the best costumes.
a fool or simpleton; ninny.
an arrangement of five objects, as trees, in a square or rectangle, one at each corner and one in the middle.
a stew of meat, vegetables, potatoes, etc.
a printed punctuation mark (‽), available only in some typefaces, designed to combine the question mark (?) and the exclamation point (!), indicating a mixture of query and interjection, as after a rhetorical question.
1640s, from L. "a pupil," lit. "foster son," vestigial present passive participle of alere "to nourish" (see old), with ending akin to Gk. -omenos. Plural is alumni. Fem. is alumna (1882), fem. plural alumnae.