de·​nar·​i·​us | \ di-ˈner-ē-əs How to pronounce denarius (audio) \
plural denarii\ di-​ˈner-​ē-​ˌī How to pronounce denarius (audio) , -​ē-​ˌē \

Definition of denarius

1 : a small silver coin of ancient Rome
2 : a gold coin of the Roman Empire equivalent to 25 denarii

Illustration of denarius

Illustration of denarius

denarius of Julius Caesar, 44 b.c.

Examples of denarius in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Its production was also a proxy for a central economic activity, the use of silver in the Romans’ standard silver coin, the denarius. New York Times, "An Ice Core Reveals the Economic Health of the Roman Empire," 14 May 2018 The decline in lead pollution was enhanced by Rome’s switch from the silver denarius, which had been increasingly debased with copper, to a gold standard. The Economist, "Arctic ice brings an understanding of ancient Europe’s economy," 19 May 2018 Besides the power of the legions, Rome’s might lay in its wealth, the cornerstone of which was a silver coin known as a denarius. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Greenland’s Ice Provides a Year-By-Year Account of the Roman Empire’s Economy," 16 May 2018 In the early Roman Empire the denarius was 100 percent silver. New York Times, "An Ice Core Reveals the Economic Health of the Roman Empire," 14 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'denarius.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of denarius

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for denarius

Middle English, from Latin — more at denier

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The first known use of denarius was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Denarius.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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