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Webster 1913 Edition


Peculiar

Pe-cul′iar

,
Adj.
[L.
peculiaris
, fr.
peculium
private property, akin to
pecunia
money: cf. OF.
peculier
. See
Pecuniary
.]
1.
One’s own; belonging solely or especially to an individual; not possessed by others; of private, personal, or characteristic possession and use; not owned in common or in participation.
And purify unto himself a
peculiar
people.
Titus ii. 14.
Hymns . . . that Christianity hath
peculiar
unto itself.
Hooker.
2.
Particular; individual; special; appropriate.
While each
peculiar
power forgoes his wonted seat.
Milton.
My fate is Juno's most
peculiar
care.
Dryden.
3.
Unusual; singular; rare; strange;
as, the sky had a
peculiar
appearance
.
Syn.
Peculiar
,
Special
,
Especial
.
Peculiar is from the Roman peculium, which was a thing emphatically and distinctively one's own, and hence was dear. The former sense always belongs to peculiar (as, a peculiar style, peculiar manners, etc.), and usually so much of the latter as to involve feelings of interest; as,
peculiar
care, watchfulness, satisfaction, etc. Nothing of this kind belongs to special and especial. They mark simply the relation of species to genus, and denote that there is something in this case more than ordinary; as, a special act of Congress; especial pains, etc.
Beauty, which, either walking or asleep,
Shot forth
peculiar
graces.
Milton.
For naught so vile that on the earth doth live,
But to the earth some
special
good doth give.
Shakespeare

Pe-cul′iar

,
Noun.
1.
That which is peculiar; a sole or exclusive property; a prerogative; a characteristic.
Revenge is . . . the
peculiar
of Heaven.
South.
2.
(Eng. Canon Law)
A particular parish or church which is exempt from the jurisdiction of the ordinary.
Court of Peculiars
(Eng. Law)
,
a branch of the Court of Arches having cognizance of the affairs of peculiars.
Blackstone.
Dean of peculiars
.
See under
Dean
, 1.

Webster 1828 Edition


Peculiar

PECU'LIAR

,
Adj.
[L. peculiaris, from peculium, one's own property, from pecus, cattle.]
1.
Appropriate; belonging to a person and to him only. Almost every writer has a peculiar style. Most men have manners peculiar to themselves.
2.
Singular; particular. The man has something peculiar in his deportment.
3.
Particular; special.
My fate is Juno's most peculiar care.
[Most cannot, in strict propriety, be prefixed to peculiar, but it is used to give emphasis to the word.]
4.
Belonging to a nation,system or other thing, and not to others.

PECU'LIAR

,
Noun.
Exclusive property; that which belongs to a person in exclusion of others.
1.
In the canon law, a particular parish or church which has the probate of wills within itself, exempt from the jurisdiction of the ordinary or bishop's court.
Court of peculiars, in England, is a branch of the court of arches. It has jurisdiction over all the parishes dispersed through the province of Canterbury, in the midst of other dioceses, which are exempt from the ordinary jurisdiction, and subject to the metropolitan only.

Definition 2022


peculiar

peculiar

English

Adjective

peculiar (comparative more peculiar, superlative most peculiar)

  1. Out of the ordinary; odd; curious; unusual.
    The sky had a peculiar appearance before the storm.
    It would be rather peculiar to see a kangaroo hopping down a city street.
    • 1800, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The Deseret Weekly, Volume 41, page 379,
      I saw nothing peculiar in his conduct, and thought that his arrangement of the ballot box was perfect.
    • 2001, Jack Schaefer, Wendell Minor, Shane,
      "Wasn't it peculiar," I heard mother say, "How he wouldn't talk about himself?"
      "Peculiar?" said father. "Well, yes, in a way."
      "Everything about him is peculiar." Mother sounded as if she was stirred up and interested. "I never saw a man quite like him before."
    • 2008, Stephen Arnott, Peculiar Proverbs: Weird Words of Wisdom from Around the World.
  2. Common or usual for a certain place or circumstance; specific or particular.
    Kangaroos are peculiar to Australia.
    • 1855, Immanuel Kant, John Miller Dow Meiklejohn (translator), Critique of Pure Reason, Volume 1, Division 2, per 1781, Immanuel Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft,
      This philosopher found his ideas especially in all that is practical,[29] that is, which rests upon freedom, which in its turn ranks under cognitions that are the peculiar product of reason.
    • 1863, Thomas Huxley, Collected Essays:
      As soon as that operation has taken place, the food is passed down to the stomach, and there it is mixed with the chemical fluid called the gastric juice, a substance which has the peculiar property of making soluble and dissolving out the nutritious matter in the grass, and leaving behind those parts which are not nutritious;
    • 1895, Alfred Russel Wallace, Island Life, XX: Anomalous Islands: Celebes,
      But of late years extensive Tertiary deposits of Miocene age have been discovered, showing that it is not a mere congeries of volcanoes; it [Iceland] is connected with the British Islands and with Greenland by seas less than 500 fathoms deep; and it possesses a few mammalia, one of which is peculiar, and at least three peculiar species of birds.
  3. (dated) One's own; belonging solely or especially to an individual; not shared or possessed by others.
    • Bible, Titus ii. 14
      And purify unto himself a peculiar people.
    • Hooker
      hymns [] that Christianity hath peculiar unto itself
  4. (dated) Particular; individual; special; appropriate.
    • Milton
      while each peculiar power forgoes his wonted seat
    • Dryden
      My fate is Juno's most peculiar care.

Synonyms

Antonyms

Derived terms

Translations

See also

Noun

peculiar (plural peculiars)

  1. That which is peculiar; a sole or exclusive property; a prerogative; a characteristic.
    • South
      Revenge is [] the peculiar of Heaven.
  2. (Britain, canon law) an ecclesiastical district, parish, chapel or church outside the jurisdiction of the bishop of the diocese in which it is situated.

References

  1. Funk, W. J., Word origins and their romantic stories, New York, Wilfred Funk, Inc.

Catalan

Adjective

peculiar m, f (masculine and feminine plural peculiars)

  1. peculiar

Portuguese

Adjective

peculiar m, f (plural peculiares, comparable)

  1. peculiar; unusual; strange
  2. peculiar (common or usual for a particular place or circumstance)

Synonyms


Spanish

Adjective

peculiar m, f (plural peculiares)

  1. peculiar