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drachma

[drak-muh, drahk-]
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noun, plural drach·mas, drach·mae [drak-mee, drahk-] /ˈdræk mi, ˈdrɑk-/.
  1. a cupronickel coin and monetary unit of modern Greece until the euro was adopted, equal to 100 lepta. Abbreviation: dr., drch.
  2. the principal silver coin of ancient Greece.
  3. a small unit of weight in ancient Greece, approximately equivalent to the U.S. and British apothecaries' dram.
  4. 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 formsdrach·mal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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


British Dictionary definitions for drachma

drachma

noun plural -mas or -mae (-miː)
  1. the former standard monetary unit of Greece, divided into 100 lepta; replaced by the euro in 2002
  2. US another name for dram (def. 2)
  3. a silver coin of ancient Greece
  4. 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

Word Origin and History for drachma

n.

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