perquisite

noun

per·​qui·​site ˈpər-kwə-zət How to pronounce perquisite (audio)
1
: a privilege, gain, or profit incidental to regular salary or wages
especially : one expected or promised
2
3
: something held or claimed as an exclusive right or possession

Did you know?

Looking to acquire a job loaded with perquisites, or perks (a synonym of perquisites)? Don’t give up the search! Make plenty of inquiries, send out an exquisitely crafted résumé, follow up with queries, and be sure to meet most of the prerequisites of the job description. Your quest may result in your conquering of the job market. After all, perquisite comes from the Latin word perquirere, which, in turn, is from the prefix per-, meaning “thoroughly” and the verb quaerere, meaning “to ask” or “to seek.” It’s not surprising that several other words in this paragraph come from quaerere as well—acquire, inquiries, exquisitely, queries, conquering, quest, and, of course, perk, which was formed by shortening and altering perquisite. Quaerere is also an ancestor of prerequisite, so we don’t blame you if you mix up perquisite and prerequisite. You can tell the difference by remembering that a prerequisite can be a requirement needed before getting a job (pre- means “before”), while a perquisite is something extra you get after you’ve been hired.

Examples of perquisite in a Sentence

Use of the company's jet is a perquisite of the job. give the movers a perquisite if they do a good job
Recent Examples on the Web The air travel is part of what are known as perquisites, or perks granted the executives, which also include ground transportation, lodging and meals during personal travel. Chris Isidore, CNN, 11 Apr. 2024 The advisory firm’s review of CEO perks between 2020 and 2023 found that home security perquisites for S&P 500 CEOs rose in prevalence from 12.6% in 2020, to 15.7% in 2023. Amanda Gerut, Fortune, 21 Mar. 2024 The executives took trips on a pair of twin-engine eight-seat Bombardier Global Express jets, a perquisite granted under the managers’ compensation plans, Nicholson told Judge Morgan Zurn. Jef Feeley, Fortune, 19 Oct. 2023 Employees that survived the layoffs were sad that their friends were no longer at the company, and that the perquisites — the little extras that made work fun — were reduced, multiple current and former workers said. Aisha Counts, Fortune, 18 Sep. 2023 But that perquisite may soon be ending. William Cohan, Town & Country, 18 Aug. 2022 The Hemlock Quarterly, an unassuming little newsletter that until recently was the chief perquisite of membership in the Hemlock Society, may have been the only radical publication in the United States whose subscriber rolls were dominated by affluent white women with gray hair. Anne Fadiman, Harper's Magazine, 20 July 2021 Casual swearing is a great perquisite of adulthood, and one of the first that kids attempt to seize for themselves. Rumaan Alam, The New Yorker, 19 May 2020 Hunter fils was also a military bro, enjoying the hell out of his status and the perquisites inherent in his office. Matt Farwell, The New Republic, 6 Dec. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'perquisite.' 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

Middle English, property acquired by means other than inheritance, from Anglo-French perquisit, Medieval Latin perquisitum, from neuter of perquisitus, past participle of perquirere to purchase, acquire, from Latin, to search for thoroughly, from per- thoroughly + quaerere to seek

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Cite this Entry

“Perquisite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perquisite. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

perquisite

noun
per·​qui·​site ˈpər-kwə-zət How to pronounce perquisite (audio)
1
: a privilege or profit made in addition to regular pay
2

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