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odd +‎ -ment


oddment (plural oddments)

  1. A part of something that is left over, such as a piece of cloth.
    Synonyms: fragment, offcut, remainder, remnant, scrap
    an oddment of ribbon / of wood
  2. Something that does not match the things it is with or cannot easily be categorized; a miscellaneous item.
    Synonyms: bits and bobs, bits and pieces, bric-a-brac, odds and ends, odds and sods, whatnot
    • 1901, Rudyard Kipling, Kim, London: Macmillan, 1902, Chapter 9, p. 216,[6]
      The Lahore Museum was larger, but here were more wonders—ghost-daggers and prayer-wheels from Tibet; [] gilt figures of Buddha and little portable lacquer alters; Russian samovars with turquoises on the lid; [] arms of all sorts and kinds, and a thousand other oddments were cased, or piled, or merely thrown into the room []
    • 1937, J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997, Chapter 5, p. 75,[7]
      [] there in his hiding-place he kept a few wretched oddments, and one very beautiful thing, very beautiful, very wonderful.
    • 1974, John Le Carré, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, New York: Bantam, 1975, Part 2, Chapter 20, p. 173,[8]
      [The chest] was filled with oddments of reference: large-scale maps, back copies of Who’s Who, old Baedekers.
    • 2000, George R. R. Martin, A Storm of Swords, New York: Bantam, pp. 381-382,[9]
      [] a tall thin man with oddments of old armor buckled on over his ratty pink robes.
  3. (commerce) An item that was originally part of a set but is sold individually; an excess item of stock.[1]
    Synonym: remainder
    • 1985, Jeanette Winterson, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, “Numbers,” p. 79,[10]
      [] she pushed me inside a shop that sold oddments and seconds.
    • 1988, Campbell Armstrong, Mazurka, New York: Harper & Row, 1990, Chapter 11, p. 251,[11]
      Whoever had purchased this supply of arms had scoured all the darker bazaars of the international weapons market, buying a lot here, another lot there, an oddment in a third place.
  4. (printing) A part of a book that is not a portion of the text, such as the title, index, etc. (usually plural).[2][3]
  5. A person who does not fit in with others or is considered to be strange in some way.[4]
    Synonyms: misfit, oddball, weirdo
    • 1904, Arthur Wing Pinero, Letty, London: Heinemann, Act I, p. 30,[12]
      Oh, I know for a fact that she’s loaned a fiver from the little oddment who has the floor under mine—
    • 1979, Alan Garner, Tom Fobble’s Day, New York: Collins, p. 66,[13]
      “Come on, you daft oddment,” []
    • 1984, Sumner Locke Elliott, About Tilly Beamis, New York: F. Watts, “1951,” p. 131,[14]
      Unlike his mother and sisters he’s not very outgoing and he’s an oddment, scrawny and muscular he has the look of a drover []
  6. A varied collection (of items).
    Synonym: assortment
    • 1862, Edward Bradley (as Cuthbert Bede), “The Agreeable Monk” in The Curate of Cranston; with Other Prose and Verse, London: Saunders, Otley, p. 281,[15]
      [] there are two or three tables, where are newspapers, and some of the latest periodicals and reviews, and a miscellaneous oddment of the current sacred and profane literature, stacked for convenience of reference []
    • 1948, Albert E. Idell, The Great Blizzard, New York: Henry Holt, Part 2, Chapter 2, p. 112,[16]
      [] bearing a tray containing an oddment of cookies, cake, and sandwiches []
    • 2007, Nuruddin Farah, Knots, New York: Riverhead Books, Chapter 11, p. 139,[17]
      “Since you won’t let my taxi in,” she says, “please let the driver bring out of the trunk of his taxi my oddment of purchases.”
  7. A remaining number or amount (after a calculation).
    Synonym: remainder
    • 1821, John Clare, “The Cross Roads” in The Village Minstrel, and Other Poems, London: Taylor and Hessey, Volume 2, p. 85,[18]
      I’m your age treble [i.e. three times your age], with some oddments to’t,
    • 1877, Robert Roberts (ed.), The Apophthegmes of Erasmus Translated into English by Nicolas Udall, Boston, Lincolnshire: Robert Roberts, Appendix, p. 459,[19]
      When they went to market, a basket of eggs was one of their most frequent charges, and in making their purchases at various shops the tradesman would often be asked “to take eggs for money” to a certain extent; especially when the sum to pay left an “oddment,” such as 4d. or 8d.
    • 1919, George Wyman Bury, Pan-Islam, London: Macmillan, Chapter 2, p. 58,[20]
      I believe he expected me to give him a receipt in round hundreds and take the “oddment,” as we call it in Warwickshire, for myself.
    • 1967, Cottie Arthur Burland, The Gods of Mexico, New York: Putnam, Chapter 7, p. 73,[21]
      [] the agricultural year was divided up into eighteen periods of twenty days, with an oddment of five days at its end.
    • 1974, Francis Hill, Victorian Lincoln, Cambridge University Press, Chapter 3, p. 48,[22]
      Of the surplus the bulk was invested, and an oddment swept into the borough fund.
  8. Something strange or unusual.
    Synonym: oddity
    • 1955, MacKinlay Kantor, Andersonville, Cleveland: World Publishing Co., Chapter 24, p. 266,[23]
      How did he come to join the cavalry?
      That was an oddment.
    • 1964, Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, New York: New American Library, Chapter 31, p. 281,[24]
      [] TV fosters many preferences that are quite at variance with literate uniformity and repeatability. It has sent Americans questing for every sort of oddment and quaintness in objects from out of their storied past. Many Americans will now spare no pains or expense to get to taste some new wine or food.
    • 2001, Ann Rinaldi, The Coffin Quilt, San Diego: Harcourt, Chapter 22, p. 142,[25]
      I thought it an oddment that Alifair, with all her powers and her healing meetings, had needed Ro, a sinner, to make her well.



  1. ^ N. H. Mager, Prentice Hall Encyclopedic Dictionary of English Usage, 1993, p. 263: “oddment part of a broken set.”[1]
  2. ^ A. M. Hunter and Charles Morris, Universal Dictionary of the English Language, New York: Peter Fenelon Collier, 1897, Ine-Rhe,[2]
  3. ^ R. Terry Ellmore, NTC’s Mass Media Dictionary, Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook Company, 1991, p. 401: “oddment [] Separate parts of a book, other than text.”[3]
  4. ^ Bryham Kirkby, Lakeland Words: A Collection of Dialect Words and Phrases, as Used in Cumberland and Westmorland, Kendal: T. Wilson, 1898, p. 109: “ODDMENT—One slightly defective in mental power.”[4]