de·​nar·​i·​us di-ˈner-ē-əs How to pronounce denarius (audio)
plural denarii di-ˈner-ē-ˌī How to pronounce denarius (audio)
: a small silver coin of ancient Rome
: 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 The Roman Empire famously experienced hyperinflation after a series of emperors lowered the silver content in their currency, the denarius, in an attempt to bolster state funds. Bywill Daniel, Fortune, 20 Sep. 2023 Upon closer inspection and excavation, researchers determined that the find included 175 silver Roman denarii coins. Taylor Nicioli, CNN, 1 May 2023 During that time, 175 denarii would have been a soldier’s salary for about a year and a half, Alderighi said. Taylor Nicioli, CNN, 1 May 2023 Rome famously experienced hyperinflation after a series of Emperors lowered the silver content of their currency, the denarius. Will Daniel, Fortune, 22 Sep. 2022 Perhaps to mark the start of more good times, the mints produced a silver denarius — a dime-sized silver coin — displaying a ship’s prow with a brilliant star (the eclipsed sun) above it, guiding the ship to safe waters. Richard Jakiel, Discover Magazine, 26 June 2019 This silver denarius was minted in Antioch during the reign of Bohemond III. Richard Jakiel, Discover Magazine, 26 June 2019 The civilizational slope has been slippery for much longer than most of us realize, and, long before the advent of smartphones or typewriters or railroads, the Roman denarius was considered a threat to the social order. Casey Cep, The New Yorker, 28 July 2021 Many mintings later, the denarius was still suspect. Casey Cep, The New Yorker, 28 July 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'denarius.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Latin — more at denier

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near denarius

Cite this Entry

“Denarius.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

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