|—n , pl -mas, -mae|
|1.||the former standard monetary unit of Greece, divided into 100 lepta; replaced by the euro in 2002|
|2.||(US) another name for dram|
|3.||a silver coin of ancient Greece|
|4.||a unit of weight in ancient Greece|
|[C16: from Latin, from Greek drakhmē a handful, from drassesthai to seize]|
silver coin of ancient Greece, dating from about the mid-6th century BC, and the former monetary unit of modern Greece. The drachma was one of the world's earliest coins. Its name derives from the Greek verb meaning "to grasp," and its original value was equivalent to that of a handful of arrows. The early drachma had different weights in different regions. From the 5th century BC, Athens gained commercial preeminence, and the Athenian drachma became the foremost currency. One drachma equaled 6 oboli; 100 drachmas equaled 1 mine; and 60 mine equaled 1 Attic talent.
Learn more about drachma with a free trial on Britannica.com.