of or relating to money: pecuniary difficulties.
consisting of or given or exacted in money or monetary payments: pecuniary tributes.
(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. 2019

Related Words for pecuniary

monetary, banking, business, economic, fiscal, budgeting

Examples from the Web for pecuniary

Contemporary Examples of pecuniary

Historical Examples of pecuniary

  • I assure you, my dear Sir, that you truly hurt me with your pecuniary parcel.

  • The corporation for pecuniary gain has neither body nor soul.

    The Railroad Question

    William Larrabee

  • Its only aim is pecuniary gain, to which it subordinates all else.

    The Railroad Question

    William Larrabee

  • It had better not be based on pecuniary obligations; these more often mar than make a friendship.



  • I suppose you know his pecuniary condition perfectly; has he money?

    Dr. Sevier

    George W. Cable

British Dictionary definitions for pecuniary



consisting of or relating to money
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 pecuniary

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