Definition for ALMS

ALMS, n. [ämz; Sax. almes; old Eng. almesse; Norm. almoignes; Fr. aumones; D. aalmoes; Sw. almosa; Dan. almisse; G. almosen; L. eleemosyna; Gr. ελεημοσυνη. The first syllables appear to be from ελεεω, to pity.]

Any thing given gratuitously to relieve the poor, as money, food, or clothing, otherwise called charity. A lame man was laid daily to ask an alms. – Acts iii. Cornelius gave much alms to the people. – Acts x. Tenure by free alms, or frank-almoign, in England, is that by which the possessor is bound to pray for the soul of the donor, whether dead or alive; a tenure by which most of the ancient monasteries and religious houses in England held their lands, as do the parochial clergy, and many ecclesiastical and eleemosynary establishments at this day. Land thus held was free from all rent or other service. – Blackstone.

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