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
sinecure was our Word of the Day on 11/12/2015. Hear the podcast!
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
Learn More about sinecure
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up sinecure? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).