1 : consisting of or measured in money
2 : of or relating to money
Did You Know?
Pecuniary first appeared in English in the early 16th century and comes from the Latin word pecunia, which means “money.” Both this root and Latin peculium, which means “private property,” are related to the Latin noun for cattle, pecus. Among Latin speakers (as among many other populations, past and present) cattle were viewed as a trading commodity, and property was often valued in terms of cattle. Pecunia has also given us impecunious, a word meaning “having little or no money,” while peculium gave us peculate, a synonym for embezzle. In peculium you might also recognize the word peculiar, which originally meant “characteristic of only one” or “distinctive” before acquiring its current meaning of “strange.”
“The theft from interstate or foreign shipment carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and is punishable by a fine of $250,000 or twice the amount of the pecuniary gain or loss from the offence.” — The U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey, press release, 27 July 2020
“In a commercial environment, news organizations have to balance pecuniary concerns with their duties as journalists.” — Ethan Epstein, The Washington Times, 5 Nov. 2019