pelf

noun
\ ˈpelf How to pronounce pelf (audio) \

Definition of pelf

Synonyms for pelf

Synonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Did you know?

In the late Middle Ages, the Anglo-French word pelfre, meaning "booty" or "stolen goods," was borrowed into English as pelf with the added meaning of "property." (Pelfre is also an ancestor of the English verb pilfer, meaning "to steal.") Eventually, pelf showed gains when people began to use it for "money" and "riches." In some regions of Britain the word's use was diversified further, in a depreciative way, to refer to trash and good-for-nothings. The first of those meanings was a loss by about the mid-17th century; the second has little value outside of the Yorkshire region of England.

Examples of pelf in a Sentence

a politician who seems more interested in pelf than in policy

First Known Use of pelf

circa 1505, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pelf

Middle English, from Anglo-French pelfre booty

Learn More About pelf

Listen to Our Podcast About pelf

Dictionary Entries Near pelf

Pelew

pelf

Pelham

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for pelf

Cite this Entry

“Pelf.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pelf. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!