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[vahy-at-i-kuh m, vee-] /vaɪˈæt ɪ kəm, vi-/
noun, plural viatica
[vahy-at-i-kuh, vee-] /vaɪˈæt ɪ kə, vi-/ (Show IPA),
Ecclesiastical. the Eucharist or Communion as given to a person dying or in danger of death.
(among the ancient Romans) a provision or allowance for traveling, originally of transportation and supplies, later of money, made to officials on public missions.
money or necessities for any journey.
Origin of viaticum
1555-65; < Latin viāticum, neuter of viāticus, equivalent to viāt(us) (past participle of viāre to travel; see via, -ate1) + -icus -ic; cf. voyage Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for viaticum
Historical Examples
  • For it was just about this time that the viaticum must have been administered to his father.

    Holbein Beatrice Fortescue
  • If they refused the viaticum they were treated as "damned persons."

    The Huguenots in France Samuel Smiles.
  • Having inquired into my resources, he said, “You must take the viaticum.”

    A Tramp's Wallet William Duthie
  • The priest said this was impossible as he was not provided with the wherewithal for giving the viaticum.

    Human Animals Frank Hamel
  • It is Wallenstein's chance now, and for me nothing but the priest's viaticum.

    The Mercenary W. J. Eccott
  • It is my fathers last gift to me and is all my viaticum as well!

    The Mercy of Allah Hilaire Belloc
  • The service of viaticum was organized differently by different Bourses.

    Syndicalism in France Louis Levine
  • The Bourse of Alger spent from 600 to 700 francs a year on the service of viaticum.

    Syndicalism in France Louis Levine
  • On the other hand, the Bourses had difficulties with the service of viaticum.

    Syndicalism in France Louis Levine
  • At his request, and in consideration of his fervour, I'll give him the viaticum.

    The Queen Pedauque Anatole France
British Dictionary definitions for viaticum


noun (pl) -ca (-kə), -cums
(Christianity) Holy Communion as administered to a person dying or in danger of death
(rare) provisions or a travel allowance for a journey
Word Origin
C16: from Latin, from viāticus belonging to a journey, from viāre to travel, from via way
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 viaticum

1560s, from Latin viaticum "travelling money; provision for a journey," from via "way" (see via).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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