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fi·​du·​cia·​ry fə-ˈdü-shē-ˌer-ē How to pronounce fiduciary (audio)
: of, relating to, or involving a confidence or trust: such as
: held or founded in trust or confidence
a fiduciary relationship
a bank's fiduciary obligations
: holding in trust
: depending on public confidence for value or currency
fiduciary fiat money


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plural fiduciaries
: one that holds a fiduciary relation or acts in a fiduciary capacity

Did you know?

Fiduciary relationships are often of the financial variety, but the word fiduciary does not, in and of itself, suggest pecuniary ("money-related") matters. Rather, fiduciary applies to any situation in which one person justifiably places confidence and trust in someone else, and seeks that person's help or advice in some matter. The attorney-client relationship is a fiduciary one, for example, because the client trusts the attorney to act in the best interest of the client at all times. Fiduciary can also be used as a noun referring to the person who acts in a fiduciary capacity, and fiduciarily or fiducially can be called upon if you are in need of an adverb. The words are all faithful to their origin: Latin fīdere, which means "to trust."

Examples of fiduciary in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
But the private sector ultimately has a fiduciary duty to shareholders to protect their investment. Bychristiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 24 Nov. 2023 In California, disputes over breaches of contract and fiduciary duty must be lodged within four years, or else the plaintiff forfeits their right to a grievance. Joel Khalili, WIRED, 22 Nov. 2023 Churches generally do not owe fiduciary duties to their members. Samuel Brunson, The Conversation, 8 Nov. 2023 These fee-only, fiduciary professionals typically charge less than a comprehensive financial planner does and could be a good fit for those with simpler needs. Liz Weston, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Oct. 2023 Since your information at this point seems to fall well short of that standard of proof and include some panicked speculation, start by securing the expertise of a fiduciary financial adviser. Carolyn Hax, Washington Post, 6 Oct. 2023 The counts listed in the suit are violations of the Exchange Act, breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, abuse of control, and gross management. Ethan Millman, Rolling Stone, 10 Nov. 2023 Your discount brokerage may offer access to fiduciary advisors for a fee or in exchange for investing a certain amount of money. Liz Weston, oregonlive, 25 June 2023 Like there's a breach of a whole host of consumer finance and fiduciary duties. Gideon Lichfield, WIRED, 11 Oct. 2023
Their certifications, fees, minimums and services can vary widely and not all of them act as fiduciaries, putting clients’ needs above their own. Bernice Napach,, 24 Oct. 2023 This is about being a fiduciary to all the stakeholders that are important to a company. Fortune Editors, Fortune, 25 Oct. 2023 Another example: The idea of fiduciaries investing in the venture capital industry was once considered heresy. Roy Swan, Fortune, 8 Mar. 2023 In the House, Republicans just passed a bill that would reverse a Labor Department rule recognizing that retirement fiduciaries may use ESG when evaluating investments. Chuck Schumer, WSJ, 28 Feb. 2023 Previously, fiduciaries had to invest based on the best rate of return. Alexander Hall, Fox News, 21 Mar. 2023 The consumers that politicians claim to be protecting want renewables Undeniably, climate change presents the type of material financial risks that fiduciaries must consider. Cynthia Hanawalt, Fortune, 2 Aug. 2023 The rule allows, though not requires, fiduciaries to weigh ESG factors when making investment decisions for retirement accounts. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, 1 Mar. 2023 During Friday’s hearing, Assistant US Attorney Dustin Chao presented documents showing that Cannon-Grant applied to become her father’s fiduciary in October, but didn’t seek permission from the court until February. Shelley Murphy,, 14 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fiduciary.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



borrowed from Latin fīdūciārius "holding in trust, of a trustee, (of property) held on trust," from fīdūcia "transference of a property on trust, trust, reliance, confidence" (from *fīdūcus "trusting" —from fīdere "to trust [in], have confidence [in]" + -ūcus, deverbal adjective suffix— + -ia -ia entry 1) + -ārius -ary entry 2 — more at faith entry 1


borrowed from Medieval Latin fīdūciārius, noun derivative of Latin fīdūciārius, adjective, "holding in trust, of a trustee" — more at fiduciary entry 1

First Known Use


circa 1641, in the meaning defined above


1631, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fiduciary was in 1631


Dictionary Entries Near fiduciary

Cite this Entry

“Fiduciary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Legal Definition


1 of 2 noun
plural fiduciaries
: one often in a position of authority who obligates himself or herself to act on behalf of another (as in managing money or property) and assumes a duty to act in good faith and with care, candor, and loyalty in fulfilling the obligation : one (as an agent) having a fiduciary duty to another see also fiduciary duty at duty, fiduciary relationship compare principal


2 of 2 adjective
: of, relating to, or involving a confidence or trust
a guardian acting in his fiduciary capacity
: of or relating to a fiduciary or the position of a fiduciary
a fiduciary bond


Latin fiduciarius, from fiducia trust, transfer of a property on trust

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