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Latin. See peculiar.


peculium (plural peculia)

  1. (law, historical) The savings of a son or a slave, with the father's or master's consent; a little property or stock of one's own.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Burrill to this entry?)
  2. A special fund for private and personal uses.
    • Sir Walter Scott
      Still, however, he gained something, and it was the glory of his heart to carry it to Mr MacMorlan weekly, a slight peculium only subtracted, to supply his snuff-box and tobacco-pouch.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for peculium in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)



From a Proto-Indo-European root *peḱu- (livestock, domestic animals), whence also pecus (sheep, cattle).



pecūlium n (genitive pecūliī); second declension

  1. private property (originally in the form of cattle, but later in the form of savings)

Usage notes[edit]

Often used in Ancient Rome to refer to the payment a teaching slave would occasionally collect from his students.


Second declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative pecūlium pecūlia
genitive pecūliī pecūliōrum
dative pecūliō pecūliīs
accusative pecūlium pecūlia
ablative pecūliō pecūliīs
vocative pecūlium pecūlia

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]