[duhk-uh t]
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  1. any of various gold coins formerly issued in various parts of Europe, especially that first issued in Venice in 1284.Compare sequin(def 2).
  2. any of various silver coins formerly issued in various parts of Europe.
  3. Slang. a ticket to a public performance.
  4. 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of ducat

British Dictionary definitions for ducat


  1. any of various former European gold or silver coins, esp those used in Italy or the Netherlands
  2. (often plural) any coin or money

Word Origin for ducat

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

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