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See also: Treasure


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English tresour, from Old French tresor (treasury), from Latin thēsaurus (treasure), from Ancient Greek θησαυρός (thēsaurós, treasure house). Displaced native Old English goldhord. Doublet of thesaurus.



treasure (countable and uncountable, plural treasures)

  1. (uncountable) A collection of valuable things; accumulated wealth; a stock of money, jewels, etc.
    • 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson, chapter 20, in Treasure Island:
      "Now," resumed Silver, "here it is. You give us the chart to get the treasure by, and drop shooting poor seamen and stoving of their heads in while asleep. You do that, and we'll offer you a choice. Either you come aboard along of us, once the treasure shipped, and then I'll give you my affy-davy, upon my word of honour, to clap you somewhere safe ashore.
  2. (countable) Anything greatly valued.
  3. (countable) A term of endearment.
    • 1922, Francis Rufus Bellamy, A Flash of Gold:
      "Hello, Treasure," he said without turning round. For a second she hesitated, standing in the soft light of the lamp, the deep blue of the rug making a background for her, the black fur collar of her coat framing the vivid beauty of her face.

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treasure (third-person singular simple present treasures, present participle treasuring, simple past and past participle treasured)

  1. (transitive, of a person or thing) To consider to be precious; to value highly.
    Oh, this ring is beautiful! I’ll treasure it forever.
    • 1838, Eliza Cook, “The Old Armchair”, in Melania and other Poems:
      I LOVE it, I love it ; and who shall dare
      To chide me for loving that old Arm-chair ?
      I've treasured it long as a sainted prize ;
      I've bedewed it with tears, and embalmed it with sighs.
  2. (transitive) To store or stow in a safe place.
    • 1825, Walter Scott, The Talisman:
      The rose-buds, withered as they were, were still treasured under his cuirass, and nearest to his heart.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To enrich.


  • (to consider to be precious): cherish


  • (to consider to be precious): despise

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