Definition of sinecure
1 archaic : an ecclesiastical benefice without cure of souls
2 : an office or position that requires little or no work and that usually provides an income
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Recent Examples of sinecure from the Web
Fox News, his post–Bush administration sinecure, had just called Ohio—and, by extension, the country—for Barack Obama.
Burke seemed to like dressing up in medieval regalia, and the ceremonial sinecure should have been no more than a Gothic folly.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sinecure.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Sinecure comes from the Medieval Latin phrase sine cura, which literally means "without cure." No, the first sinecures were not cushy jobs for those suffering with incurable maladies. The word sinecure first referred to "an ecclesiastical benefice without cure of souls"—that is, a church position in which the job-holder did not have to tend to the spiritual care and instruction of church members. Such sinecures were virtually done away with by the end of the 19th century, but by then the word had acquired a broader sense referring to any paid position with few or no responsibilities.
Origin and Etymology of sinecure
Medieval Latin sine cura without cure (of souls)
First Known Use: 1662See Words from the same year
SINECURE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of sinecure for English Language Learners
: a job or position in which someone is paid to do little or no work
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