pla·​gia·​ry | \ ˈplā-jē-ˌer-ē How to pronounce plagiary (audio) , -jə-rē \
plural plagiaries

Definition of plagiary

1 archaic : one that plagiarizes

Did you know?

Plagiarius, the Latin source of plagiary, literally means "kidnapper." Plagiarius has its roots in the noun plagium, meaning both "kidnapping" and "the netting of game," and ultimately in the noun plaga, meaning "net." The literal sense of plagiarius was adopted into English; in the 17th and early 18th century, a kidnapper might be referred to as a plagiary, and, in the legalese of the time, kidnapping as plagium. Plagiarius also referred to a literary thief—and that sense was lifted into the English language in the word plagiary, which can be used for one who commits literary theft (now usually referred to as a plagiarist) or the act or product of such theft (now, more commonly, plagiarism).

First Known Use of plagiary

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for plagiary

Latin plagiarius, literally, kidnapper, from plagium netting of game, kidnapping, from plaga net, trap

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The first known use of plagiary was in 1601

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Cite this Entry

“Plagiary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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