from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Law An allowance for support made under court order to a divorced person by the former spouse, usually the chief provider during the marriage. Alimony may also be granted without a divorce, as between legally separated persons.
- n. A means of livelihood; maintenance.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A court-enforced allowance made to a former spouse by a divorced or legally separated person.
- n. The means to support life.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Maintenance; means of living.
- n. An allowance made to a wife out of her husband's estate or income for her support, upon her divorce or legal separation from him, or during a suit for the same.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In law: An allowance which a husband or former husband may be forced to pay to his wife or former wife, living legally separate from him, for her maintenance.
- n. In Scots law, aliment.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. court-ordered support paid by one spouse to another after they are separated
Latin alimōnia, sustenance, from alere, to nourish; see al-2 in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Known since 1655, from Latin alimonia ("food, support, nourishment, sustenance") (English aliment, as in alimentary), itself from alere ("to nourish") + -monia ("action, state, condition"). (Wiktionary)