Word of the Day

Thursday, August 19, 1999


\el-uh-MOS-uh-ner-ee\ , adjective;
Of or for charity; charitable; as, "an eleemosynary institution."
Given in charity; having the nature of alms; as, "eleemosynary assistance."
Supported by or dependent on charity; as, "the eleemosynary poor."
We also need to revive the great eleemosynary institutions through which compassionate people serve those in need with both greater flexibility and discipline than government agencies are capable.
-- Clifford F. Thies, "Bring back the bridewell", The World & I, September 1, 1995
An author ought to consider himself, not as a gentleman who keeps a private or eleemosynary treat, but rather as one who keeps a public ordinary, at which all persons are welcome for their money.
-- Henry Fielding, Tom Jones
Like Hilda's "eleemosynary doves," these birds depend upon the Author's charity, require mothering, just as Hilda finds solace in the Virgin--"a child, lifting its tear-stained face to seek comfort from a Mother."
-- John Dolis, "Domesticating Hawthorne: Home Is for the Birds", Criticism, Winter 2001
The source of eleemosynary is Medieval Latin eleemosynarius, from Late Latin eleemosyna, "alms," from Greek eleemosyne, from eleemon, "pitiful," from eleos, "pity."
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