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peculiar

[pi-kyool-yer]
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adjective
  1. strange; queer; odd: peculiar happenings.
  2. uncommon; unusual: the peculiar hobby of stuffing and mounting bats.
  3. distinctive in nature or character from others.
  4. belonging characteristically (usually followed by to): an expression peculiar to Canadians.
  5. belonging exclusively to some person, group, or thing: the peculiar properties of a drug.
  6. Astronomy. designating a star or galaxy with special properties that deviates from others of its spectral type or galaxy class.
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noun
  1. a property or privilege belonging exclusively or characteristically to a person.
  2. British. a particular parish or church that is exempted from the jurisdiction of the ordinary or bishop in whose diocese it lies and is governed by another.
  3. peculiars. Also called arbitraries. British Printing. special characters not generally included in standard type fonts, as phonetic symbols, mathematical symbols, etc.
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Origin of peculiar

1400–50; late Middle English; < Latin pecūliāris as one's own, equivalent to pecūli(um) property (derivative of pecū flock, farm animals; akin to pecus cattle (see fee)) + -āris -ar1
Related formspe·cu·liar·ly, adverbun·pe·cu·liar, adjectiveun·pe·cu·liar·ly, adverb

Synonyms

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1. eccentric, bizarre. See strange. 2. extraordinary, singular, exceptional. 5. individual, personal, particular, special, unique.

Antonyms

2, 5. common.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for peculiar

peculiar

adjective
  1. strange or unusual; odda peculiar individual; a peculiar idea
  2. distinct from others; special
  3. (postpositive foll by to) belonging characteristically or exclusively (to)peculiar to North America
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noun
  1. Also called: arbitrary printing a special sort, esp an accented letter
  2. Church of England a church or parish that is exempt from the jurisdiction of the ordinary in whose diocese it lies
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Derived Formspeculiarly, adverb

Word Origin

C15: from Latin pecūliāris concerning private property, from pecūlium, literally: property in cattle, from pecus cattle
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 peculiar

adj.

mid-15c., "belonging exclusively to one person," from Latin peculiaris "of one's own (property)," from peculium "private property," literally "property in cattle" (in ancient times the most important form of property), from pecu "cattle, flock," related to pecus "cattle" (see pecuniary). Meaning "unusual" is first attested c.1600 (earlier "distinguished, special," 1580s; for sense development, cf. idiom). Related: Peculiarly.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper