pecuniary

adjective

pe·​cu·​ni·​ary pi-ˈkyü-nē-ˌer-ē How to pronounce pecuniary (audio)
1
: consisting of or measured in money
pecuniary aid
pecuniary gifts
2
: of or relating to money
pecuniary needs
pecuniary rewards
pecuniarily adverb

Did you know?

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. Among Latin speakers (as among many other populations, past and present) cattle were viewed as a trading commodity, 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 "characteristic of only one" or "distinctive" before acquiring its current meaning of "strange."

Examples of pecuniary in a Sentence

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
Recent Examples on the Web If Thomas, a notorious enforcer on the field, chooses to enforce his FCRA and/or EFTA rights against those institutions in civil court, those banks may end up suffering the pecuniary loss. Adam Singer, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 Creating a professional and social consensus: When innovations further the goals of health and healing, rather than pecuniary interests, professional and social norms can help overcome incentive problems. James B. Rebitzer, STAT, 21 Aug. 2023 Leaders of African countries must also forsake pecuniary self-interest for that of the greater good. Jack A. Goldstone, Foreign Affairs, 18 May 2023 This is a cautionary tale of how unscrupulous authoritarian populists, drunk on ideology but driven primarily by the lust for power and its pecuniary rewards, can catastrophically ruin an economy and shred the social fabric of a country. William Neuman, Foreign Affairs, 19 Apr. 2022 The new law would require pension investments to be based only on pecuniary factors of minimizing financial risks and maximizing returns. Joe Sonka, The Courier-Journal, 26 June 2023 The conspiracy count carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years, a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the pecuniary gain to the defendant or loss to the victims, whichever is greatest, the US said. Chris Dolmetsch, Bloomberg.com, 25 May 2023 The filing requests compensation for the loss of life, conscious pain and suffering of the deceased prior to death, funeral expenses, and the mental anguish and pecuniary damage of the surviving estate and to recover damages and judgment against the defendants. Brianna Kwasnik, Arkansas Online, 29 Jan. 2022 The lawsuit requests compensation for the loss of life, conscious pain and suffering of the deceased prior to death, funeral expenses, and the mental anguish and pecuniary damage of the surviving estate and to recover damages and judgment against the defendants. Arkansas Online, 30 Jan. 2022

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

Word History

Etymology

Latin pecuniarius, from pecunia money — more at fee

First Known Use

1506, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pecuniary was in 1506

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Dictionary Entries Near pecuniary

Cite this Entry

“Pecuniary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pecuniary. Accessed 18 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

pecuniary

adjective
pe·​cu·​ni·​ary pi-ˈkyü-nē-ˌer-ē How to pronounce pecuniary (audio)
: of, relating to, or consisting of money

Legal Definition

pecuniary

adjective
pe·​cu·​ni·​ary pi-ˈkyü-nē-ˌer-ē How to pronounce pecuniary (audio)
: consisting of, measured in, or relating to money
pecuniary damages

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