Definitions for: Peculiar


[adj] markedly different from the usual; "a peculiar hobby of stuffing and mounting bats"; "a man...feels it a peculiar insult to be taunted with cowardice by a woman"-Virginia Woolf
[adj] beyond or deviating from the usual or expected; "a curious hybrid accent"; "her speech has a funny twang"; "they have some funny ideas about war"; "had an odd name"; "the peculiar aromatic odor of cloves"; "something definitely queer about this town"; "what a rum fellow"; "singular behavior"



Webster (1913) Definition: Pe*cul"iar, a. [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
peculiarappearance.

Syn: Peculiar, Special, Especial.

Usage: 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.
--Shak.


Pe*cul"iar, n.
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.

Synonyms: curious, funny, odd, queer, rum, rummy, singular, strange, unusual

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