sinecure

play
noun si·ne·cure \ˈsī-ni-ˌkyu̇r, ˈsi-\

Definition of sinecure

  1. 1 archaic :  an ecclesiastical benefice without cure of souls

  2. 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: 1662


SINECURE Defined for English Language Learners

sinecure

play
noun si·ne·cure \ˈsī-ni-ˌkyu̇r, ˈsi-\

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).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to link together in a series or chain

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • winning-words-from-the-national-spelling-bee-logo
  • Which is the correct spelling of the winning word from 1988?
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!