1. of or relating to money: pecuniary difficulties.
  2. consisting of or given or exacted in money or monetary payments: pecuniary tributes.
  3. (of a crime, violation, etc.) involving a money penalty or fine.

Origin of pecuniary

1495–1505; < Latin pecūniārius, derivative of pecūnia property, money (pecūn-, derivative of pecū flock (see peculiar), with -ūn- as in tribūna tribune1, fortūna fortune, etc. + -ia -ia); see -ary
Related formspe·cu·ni·ar·i·ly [pi-kyoo-nee-air-i-lee] /pɪˌkyu niˈɛər ɪ li/, adverbnon·pe·cu·ni·ar·y, adjective

Synonyms for pecuniary

1, 2. See financial. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pecuniarily

Historical Examples of pecuniarily

  • The more the guests ate and drank the better, pecuniarily, for their hosts.

    Auld Licht Idylls

    J. M. Barrie

  • It's a good thing for him, and it's a good thing for me, pecuniarily.

    The Ghost

    William. D. O'Connor

  • The treasure he had in her, culinarily and pecuniarily, though he didn't know it!

  • But he had cannied and caddied in the wrong way, pecuniarily.

    My Life

    Josiah Flynt

  • From the social standpoint he had nothing to desire, and pecuniarily he was independent.


    Julian Hawthorne

British Dictionary definitions for pecuniarily


  1. consisting of or relating to money
  2. law (of an offence) involving a monetary penalty
Derived Formspecuniarily, adverb

Word Origin for pecuniary

C16: from Latin pecūniāris, from pecūnia money
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 pecuniarily



c.1500, from Latin pecuniarius "pertaining to money," from pecunia "money, property, wealth," from pecu "cattle, flock," from PIE root *peku- "wealth, movable property, livestock" (cf. Sanskrit pasu- "cattle," Gothic faihu "money, fortune," Old English feoh "cattle, money").

Livestock was the measure of wealth in the ancient world. For a possible parallel sense development in Old English, see fee, and cf., evolving in the other direction, cattle. Cf. also Welsh tlws "jewel," cognate with Irish tlus "cattle," connected via notion of "valuable thing."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper