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piaster

or pi·as·tre

[pee-as-ter, -ah-ster]
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noun
  1. a former coin of Turkey, the 100th part of a lira: replaced by the kurus in 1933.
  2. a monetary unit of Egypt, Lebanon, Sudan, and Syria, the 100th part of a pound.
  3. a former monetary unit of South Vietnam: replaced by the dong in 1976.
  4. the former peso or dollar of Spain and Spanish America.

Origin of piaster

1605–15; < French piastre < Italian piastra thin sheet of metal, silver coin (short for piastra d'argento, literally, plate of silver), akin to piastro plaster
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for piaster

Historical Examples

  • All my trouble, all the hard work, and not a piaster, not a piaster!

    The Carpet from Bagdad

    Harold MacGrath

  • They could be bought in the markets for a piaster, or less than five cents.

  • They brought to the King the piaster which gave Erec great relief.

    Four Arthurian Romances

    Chretien DeTroyes

  • But if you go to buy anything you get so confused as to the different worth of a piaster that your head turns.

  • This done, he asks for a piaster; and some one tells him that he shall have it if he will put out his hand and take it.

    Ten Thousand Wonderful Things

    Edmund Fillingham King


Word Origin and History for piaster

n.

also piastre, 1620s, "Spanish dollar, piece of eight," also used as the name of a monetary unit and coin of Turkey (1610s, in Turkish called ghurush, but originally debased Spanish dollars), from French piastre, from Italian piastra "thin metal plate," short for impiastro "plaster," from Latin emplastrum, from Greek emplastron (see plaster). The Italian word was applied to the Spanish silver peso, later to the Turkish coin based on it. Cf. shinplaster.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper