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Word of the Day
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Definitions for sinecure

  1. an office or position requiring little or no work, especially one yielding profitable returns.
  2. an ecclesiastical benefice without cure of souls.

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Citations for sinecure
He thinks it better to be idle at his father's expense than to do a little work for a handsome salary," said Mr. May; "everything is right that is extracted from his father's pocket, though it is contrary to a high code of honour to accept a sinecure. Margaret Oliphant, Phoebe, Junior, 1876
... Governor James E. McGreevey, courageously or foolishly, proclaimed Baraka [poet] laureate, a sinecure worth ten thousand dollars a year ... Nick Paumgarten, "Goodbye, Paramus," The New Yorker, October 14, 2002
Origin of sinecure
Sinecure comes from the Medieval Latin phrase (beneficium) sine cūrā “(benefice) without cure," i.e., an ecclesiastical post that does not involve the cure of souls, or seeing to the needs of parishioners. Sinecures were used and abused in patronage. Sinecure entered English in the 17th century.