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 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 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, 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, 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, 16 May 2018 In the early Roman Empire the denarius was 100 percent silver. New York Times, 14 May 2018 See More

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.

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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denarius dei

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Cite this Entry

“Denarius.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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