noun, plural al·a·mos. Southwestern U.S.
- a poplar.
- a Franciscan mission in San Antonio, Texas, besieged by Mexicans on February 23, 1836, during the Texan war for independence and taken on March 6, 1836, with its entire garrison killed.
- the Alamo a mission in San Antonio, Texas, the site of a siege and massacre in 1836 by Mexican forces under Santa Anna of a handful of American rebels fighting for Texan independence from Mexico
nickname of Franciscan Mission San Antonio de Valeroin (begun 1718, dissolved 1793) in San Antonio, Texas; American Spanish, literally “poplar” (in New Spain, also “cottonwood”), from alno “the black poplar,” from Latin alnus “alder” (cf. alder).
Perhaps so called in reference to trees growing nearby (cf. Alamogordo, New Mexico, literally “big poplar,” and Spanish alameda “a public walk with a row of trees on each side”); but the popular name seems to date from the period 1803-13, when the old mission was the base for a Spanish cavalry company from the Mexican town of Alamo de Parras in Nueva Vizcaya.
A fort, once a chapel, in San Antonio, Texas, where a group of Americans made a heroic stand against a much larger Mexican force in 1836, during the war for Texan independence from Mexico. The Mexicans, under General Santa Anna, besieged the Alamo and eventually killed all of the defenders, including Davy Crockett.