What is Alms?

Legal Definition
Alms (/ɑːmz/, /ɑːlmz/) or almsgiving involves giving to others as an act of virtue, either materially or in the sense of providing capabilities (e.g. education) for free. It exists in a number of religions and regions. The word, in the modern English language, comes from the Old English ælmesse, ælmes, from Late Latin eleemosyna, from Greek ἐλεημοσύνη eleēmosynē ("pity, alms"), from ἐλεήμων, eleēmōn ("merciful"), from ἔλεος, eleos ("pity").
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
In its most extensive sense, this comprehends every species of relief bestowed upon the poor, and, therefore, including all charities. In a more, limited sense, it signifies what is given by public authority for the relief of the poor. Shelford on Mortmain, 802, note (x); 1 Dougl. Election Cas. 370; 2 Id. 107; Heywood on Elections, 263.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
Charitable donations. Any species of relief bestowed upon the poor. That which is given by public authority for the relief of the poor.
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
Donations to relieve the poor.
-- Ballentine's Law Dictionary