- of or for charity or alms; charitable
- supported by or dependent on charity
- given as charity; free
Origin of eleemosynaryMedieval Latin eleemosynarius from Ecclesiastical Late Latin eleemosyna, alms
Origin of eleemosynaryMedieval Latin eleēmosynārius from Late Latin eleēmosyna alms ; see alms .
(comparative more eleemosynary, superlative most eleemosynary)
- Relating to charity, alms, or almsgiving.
- Given in charity or alms; having the nature of alms; as, eleemosynary assistance.
- Supported by charity; as, eleemosynary poor.
A formal, literary word; in everyday use charitable is used instead.
- (obsolete) A beggar
From Medieval Latin eleemosynarius (“alms dispenser”), from Late Latin eleemosyna (“alms”), from Ancient Greek ἐλεημοσύνη (eleēmosynē, “alms”), from ἐλεέω (eleëō, “I have mercy”), from ἔλεος (eleos, “pity”).
Compare Italian elemosina.