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


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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 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

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

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emoluments clause

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Cite this Entry

“Emolument.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emolument. Accessed 27 Sep. 2021.

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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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