[eks-chek-er, iks-chek-er]


a treasury, as of a state or nation.
(in Great Britain)
  1. (often initial capital letter)the governmental department in charge of the public revenues.
  2. (formerly) an office administering the royal revenues and determining all cases affecting them.
  3. (initial capital letter)Also called Court of Exchequer.an ancient common-law court of civil jurisdiction in which cases affecting the revenues of the crown were tried, now merged in the King's Bench Division of the High Court.
Informal. one's financial resources; funds: I'd love to go, but the exchequer is a bit low.

Origin of exchequer

1250–1300; Middle English escheker, eschequier < Anglo-French escheker, eschekier (Old French eschequier) chessboard, counting table. See checker1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for exchequer

Contemporary Examples of exchequer

Historical Examples of exchequer

  • But for this change of study he might not have become the greatest of Chancellors of the Exchequer.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • Near one, and I have an appointment with the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

  • But his letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer seemed to be merely foolish.

    The Red Hand of Ulster

    George A. Birmingham

  • Thereby the solvency of the German exchequer would be moderately insured.

    Oswald Langdon

    Carson Jay Lee

  • Talk of your Chancellors of the Exchequer and their problems!

British Dictionary definitions for exchequer



(often capital) government (in Britain and certain other countries) the accounting department of the Treasury, responsible for receiving and issuing funds
informal personal funds; finances

Word Origin for exchequer

C13 (in the sense: chessboard, counting table): from Old French eschequier, from eschec check



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 exchequer

c.1300, from Anglo-French escheker "a chessboard," from Old French eschequier, from Medieval Latin scaccarium "chess board" (see check (n.1); also cf. checker (n.2)).

Government financial sense began under the Norman kings of England and refers to a cloth divided in squares that covered a table on which accounts of revenue were reckoned with counters, and which apparently reminded people of a chess board. Respelled with an -x- based on the mistaken belief that it originally was a Latin ex- word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper