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October 13, 2013

Word of the Day

  • pecuniary
  • audio pronunciation
  • \pih-KYOO-nee-air-ee\
  • DEFINITION

adjective

1
: consisting of or measured in money
2
: of or relating to money
  • EXAMPLES

Marcus was more than happy to water Rachel's plants while she was away and refused any pecuniary compensation for the job.

"The suite has amenities like Art Deco detailing and showstopping views of Central Park, another indication that Mr. Spitzer, who is self-financing his campaign, has a pecuniary edge over Mr. Stringer…." — From an article by Michael M. Grynbaum in The New York Times, August 8, 2013

  • DID YOU KNOW?

"Pecuniary" first appeared in English in the early 16th century and comes from the Latin word "pecunia," which means "money." Both this root and Latin "peculium," which means "private property," are related to the Latin noun for cattle, "pecus." In early times, cattle were viewed as a trading commodity (as they still are in some parts of the world), and property was often valued in terms of cattle. "Pecunia" has also given us "impecunious," a word meaning "having little or no money," while "peculium" gave us "peculate," a synonym for "embezzle." In "peculium" you might also recognize the word "peculiar," which originally meant "exclusively one's own" or "distinctive" before acquiring its current meaning of "strange."

Test Your Vocabulary: What word rhymes with "self" and means "money" or "riches"? The answer is …

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