emol·​u·​ment | \ i-ˈmäl-yə-mənt How to pronounce emolument (audio) \

Definition of emolument

1 : the returns arising from office or employment usually in the form of compensation or perquisites
2 archaic : advantage

Synonyms for emolument


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The U.S. Constitution includes two emoluments clauses: the foreign emoluments clause, in Article 1, Section 9, prohibits federal officeholders from accepting gifts, payments, or other items of value from foreign states or rulers; the domestic emoluments clause, in Article 2, Section 1, prohibits the president from receiving any compensation from the federal government or from any state beyond what Section 1 outlines for compensation for service as the nation’s chief executive. Like most technical legal terms, emolument is Latin in origin, but chew on this: its Latin predecessor meant simply “advantage,” but that word’s source is emolere, meaning “to produce by grinding,” and its relations include such toothsome words as mill and molar.

Examples of emolument in a Sentence

the annual emolument for the director of the charity is officially only one dollar
Recent Examples on the Web Now, however, some Democrats are second-guessing whether the impeachment investigation should have included charges related to campaign finance and an emoluments probe of whether Trump properties profit from foreign nationals. Billy House, Bloomberg.com, 10 May 2020 But few tales better show the mix of hard power and emoluments that embodied imperial China’s tributary relations with others. The Economist, 6 Feb. 2020 Clearly, there were also going to be debates on whether the charges should include obstruction of justice and emoluments (the president using his office to profit). Susan Dominus, New York Times, 18 Nov. 2019 This is the third year the company has made such a donation, part of an effort to avoid violating the foreign emoluments clause of the Constitution, which bars the president from accepting gifts or payments from foreign governments. Jonathan O'connell, Washington Post, 9 Mar. 2020 Several lawsuits claiming the president violated the Constitution's emoluments clause by accepting gifts from foreign and state interests are making their way through the federal courts. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, 12 Feb. 2020 The emoluments clause bars presidents from accepting gifts or money from foreign governments without approval from Congress. Katherine Doyle, Washington Examiner, 27 Feb. 2020 The congressional emoluments case in Washington was initiated last year by about 200 Democrats. Ann E. Marimow, courant.com, 25 June 2019 No one knows, because no court has ever made a final emoluments clause judgment. Washington Post, 13 Dec. 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of emolument

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for emolument

Middle English, from Latin emolumentum advantage, from emolere to produce by grinding, from e- + molere to grind — more at meal

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The first known use of emolument was in the 15th century

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emoluments clause

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“Emolument.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emolument. Accessed 30 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for emolument


emol·​u·​ment | \ i-ˈmäl-yə-mənt How to pronounce emolument (audio) \

Legal Definition of emolument

: a return arising from office or employment usually in the form of compensation or perquisites the President shall, at stated times, receive for his services, a compensation…and he shall not receive within that period any other emolumentU.S. Constitution art. II


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