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 for peculiar

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

Antonyms for peculiar

2, 5. common. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for peculiarly

strangely, bizarrely, curiously, unusually, eccentrically, queerly

Examples from the Web for peculiarly

Contemporary Examples of peculiarly

Historical Examples of peculiarly

  • Those who were initiated were supposed to be peculiarly under the protection of the gods.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • Jaques is only sketched in with light strokes, but all his traits are peculiarly Hamlet's traits.

  • And this was strange, since the Italian restaurant is such a peculiarly British institution.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • He drank and relapsed into his peculiarly close manner of silence.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • The case of this woman is peculiarly affecting, from other considerations.

British Dictionary definitions for peculiarly



strange or unusual; odda peculiar individual; a peculiar idea
distinct from others; special
(postpositive foll by to) belonging characteristically or exclusively (to)peculiar to North America


Also called: arbitrary printing a special sort, esp an accented letter
Church of England a church or parish that is exempt from the jurisdiction of the ordinary in whose diocese it lies
Derived Formspeculiarly, adverb

Word Origin for peculiar

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 peculiarly



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper