Alma Mater (n.)
late 14c., Latin, literally "nurturing mother," a title given by Romans to certain goddesses, especially Ceres and Cybele, from alma, fem. of almus "nourishing," from alere "to nourish, rear, support, maintain" (from PIE root *al- (2) "to grow, nourish") + māter "mother" (see mother (n.1)). The use of the Latin phrase for "one's university or school" is attested from 1710.
updated on September 17, 2022