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

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Synonyms for emolument


hire, packet [British], pay, pay envelope, paycheck, payment, salary, stipend, wage

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To Sir Thomas Williams Person of the Parish ... of Saint Andrew at Baynards Castle in London for his yearly pension 40 shillings ... in recompense of certain offerings, oblations, and emoluments unto the said benefice due.... Thus was recorded in "The Wardrobe Accounts of Edward the Fourth," along with every expense of the realm, the first ever known use of "emolument." By the year 1480, when that entry was made, Latin emolumentum had come to mean simply "profit" or "gain"; it had become removed from its own Latin predecessor, the verb molere, meaning "to grind." The original connection between the noun and this verb was its reference to the profit or gain from grinding another's grain. (The notion of grinding away at our jobs didn't show up in our language until the 1800s.)

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

Jeff Stein and Libby Nelson explained the emoluments issue in much more detail for Vox. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Why the government shutdown is good legal news for Trump," 27 Dec. 2018 Nobody would be raking him over the emoluments coals for owning a hotel in Washington. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Interpreting the Trump Meteor," 18 Dec. 2018 Trump has a slew of legal woes, including lawsuits accusing him of violating the anti-bribery emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution by accepting payments from foreign governments at his hotels and other properties. Bernard Condon, The Seattle Times, "Lawsuit: Trump misled investors in money-losing company," 29 Oct. 2018 The foreign emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the right to grant or deny the president permission to accept benefits from foreign governments. Andrew M Harris, Bloomberg.com, "Trump, Democrats Clash in D.C. Court Over President's Empire," 7 June 2018 The attorneys general of Maryland, Brian Frosh, left, and the District of Columbia, Karl Racine, announced in June 2017 a suit accusing Mr. Trump of violating the Constitution’s emoluments clause. Ken Thomas, WSJ, "Democratic Attorneys General to Bolster Fight Against Trump’s Agenda," 10 Dec. 2018 Trump hasn’t conceded the revenue amounts to an emolument and that’s an issue that still has to be settled. Andrew M Harris, Bloomberg.com, "Trump, Democrats Clash in D.C. Court Over President's Empire," 7 June 2018 One clause bars federal officers from taking gifts, or emoluments, from foreign governments. Washington Post, "Obscure no more, the emoluments clause is back again in a federal court," 11 June 2018 In December, a federal judge in NY ruled that plaintiffs in two other emoluments suits lacked standing, so dismissed the case. Katelyn Polantz, CNN, "Judge says emoluments case against Trump can proceed in DC," 28 Mar. 2018

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.

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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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Last Updated

4 May 2019

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Time Traveler for emolument

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

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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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