Eleemosynary

eleemosynary \el-uh-MOS-uh-ner-ee\, adjective:

1. Of or for charity; charitable; as, “an eleemosynary institution.”
2. Given in charity; having the nature of alms; as, “eleemosynary assistance.”
3. Supported by or dependent on charity; as, “the eleemosynary poor.”

The source of eleemosynary is Medieval Latin eleemosynarius, from Late Latin eleemosyna, “alms,” from Greek eleemosyne, from eleemon, “pitiful,” from eleos, “pity.”

James Lafontaine, an English professor-turned-homeless man, was fond of using unnecessarily long and complicated words in everyday speech. He thought that it set him apart when he said things like, “Oh, woe be my lot! To beg for alms one more day at this eleemosynary organization,” while standing in line at the local soup kitchen.

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