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[drak-muh, drahk-] /ˈdræk mə, ˈdrɑk-/
noun, plural drachmas, drachmae
[drak-mee, drahk-] /ˈdræk mi, ˈdrɑk-/ (Show IPA)
a cupronickel coin and monetary unit of modern Greece until the euro was adopted, equal to 100 lepta.
Abbreviation: dr., drch.
the principal silver coin of ancient Greece.
a small unit of weight in ancient Greece, approximately equivalent to the U.S. and British apothecaries' dram.
any of various modern weights, especially a dram.
Also, drachm.
Origin of drachma
1520-30; < Latin < Greek drachmḗ, probably equivalent to drach- base of drássesthai to grasp + -mē noun suffix (hence literally, handful)
Related forms
drachmal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for drachma
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Men who take from the poor daily interest for a drachma, and spend it in debauchery.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • Nine oboli were a drachma and a half, or about six sestertii.

  • Oh, she was most reasonable: one drachma, and a loaf of bread.

  • Five obols went to the drachma, and a hundred drachmas to the mina.

    Callias Alfred John Church
  • "I would have given a thousand drachma to have got to the train," said the girl moodily.

    Command William McFee
  • Seven hundred drachma a month I pay him, and he says it's not enough.

    Command William McFee
  • Fifteen hundred drachma a month for that, and he says he lose money on the job.

    Command William McFee
  • In Italy the equivalent is the lira, and in Greece the drachma.

British Dictionary definitions for drachma


noun (pl) -mas, -mae (-miː)
the former standard monetary unit of Greece, divided into 100 lepta; replaced by the euro in 2002
(US) another name for dram (sense 2)
a silver coin of ancient Greece
a unit of weight in ancient Greece
Word Origin
C16: from Latin, from Greek drakhmē a handful, from drassesthai to seize
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for drachma

1570s, from Greek drakhme, an Attic coin and weight, probably originally "a handful" (see dram). Earlier as dragme (late 14c.), from Old French dragme, from Medieval Latin dragma.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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