Gifts to the poor.
Dr. Johnson says the word has no singular; whereas Todd says it has no plural. Like riches, it is wholly singular in construction, but is used both as a noun singular and noun plural. Of course, it is Almos-ine, almos-ie, Almose, almesse, almes, alms, the s is not the plural suffix. Riches is the French richesse. Both words are singular, but, as nouns of multitude, prefer the plural construction. (Latin alimosina, Greek eleemosyne, from the verb eleeo, I pity.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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