Definition of pecuniary
- pecuniary aid
- pecuniary gifts
- pecuniary needs
- pecuniary rewards
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that makes good pecuniary sense
the judge recused himself from the case because he had a pecuniary interest in the company that was being sued
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pecuniary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Pecuniary first appeared in English in the early 16th century and comes from the Latin word pecunia, which means "money." Both this root and Latin peculium, which means "private property," are related to the Latin noun for cattle, pecus. In early times, cattle were viewed as a trading commodity (as they still are in some parts of the world), and property was often valued in terms of cattle. Pecunia has also given us impecunious, a word meaning "having little or no money," while peculium gave us peculate, a synonym for "embezzle." In peculium you might also recognize the word peculiar, which originally meant "exclusively one's own" or "distinctive" before acquiring its current meaning of "strange."
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