emol·​u·​ment i-ˈmäl-yə-mənt How to pronounce emolument (audio)
: the returns arising from office or employment usually in the form of compensation or perquisites
archaic : advantage

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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 The proposal led by Rep. Jamie Raskin and Sen. Richard Blumenthal would enforce the Constitution’s ban on emoluments, which prohibits the president from accepting foreign gifts and money without Congress’ permission. Farnoush Amiri, Twin Cities, 21 May 2024 It was never established what constituted an emoluments violation and what would be the remedy. Sharon Lafraniere, New York Times, 27 Mar. 2024 The Trump family’s involvement in foreign business deals became a major focus during Mr. Trump’s term, with critics ultimately suing and alleging that the family was illegally profiting from foreign payments — referred to as emoluments in the Constitution — while Mr. Trump was in office. Maggie Haberman, New York Times, 15 Mar. 2024 The emoluments clause prohibits the president from accepting any gift, title or emolument from a foreign state or domestic officials without congressional approval. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, 17 Oct. 2022 See all Example Sentences for emolument 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'emolument.' 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 emolumentum advantage, from emolere to produce by grinding, from e- + molere to grind — more at meal

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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


Dictionary Entries Near emolument

Cite this Entry

“Emolument.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emolument. Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


emol·​u·​ment i-ˈmäl-yə-mənt How to pronounce emolument (audio)
: profit from one's job or from an office held : salary, wages

Legal Definition


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