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[duhk-uh t] /ˈdʌk ət/
any of various gold coins formerly issued in various parts of Europe, especially that first issued in Venice in 1284.
Compare sequin (def 2).
any of various silver coins formerly issued in various parts of Europe.
Slang. a ticket to a public performance.
ducats, Slang. money; cash.
Origin of ducat
1350-1400; Middle English < Middle French < Old Italian ducato < Medieval Latin ducātus duchy; probably so called from the L words dux or ducātus, which formed part of the legends of such coins Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for ducat


any of various former European gold or silver coins, esp those used in Italy or the Netherlands
(often pl) any coin or money
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Old Italian ducato coin stamped with the doge's image, from duca doge, from Latin dux leader
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 ducat

late 14c., from Old French ducat (late 14c.), from Italian ducato (12c.), from Medieval Latin ducatus "coin," originally "duchy," from dux (genitive ducis) "duke" (see duke (n.)).

So called for the name or effigy of Roger II of Sicily, Duke of Apulia, which first issued the coins (c.1140). Byzantine emperor Constantine X had the Greek form doux struck on his coins during his reign (1059-1067). Over the years it was a unit of currency of varying value in Holland, Russia, Austria, Sweden, Venice, etc. Remained popular in slang for "money" or "ticket" from its prominence in "The Merchant of Venice."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for ducat



  1. A ticket or pass to a show, game, race, etc (1874+)
  2. Money; dollars: keep him in ducats for the rest of his life (1775+)

[fr the name of an originally Venetian gold coin; adoption probably influenced by its prominence in The Merchant of Venice]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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