drachmae

drachma

[drak-muh, drahk-]
noun, plural drachmas, drachmae [drak-mee, drahk-] .
1.
a cupronickel coin and monetary unit of modern Greece until the euro was adopted, equal to 100 lepta. Abbreviation: dr., drch.
2.
the principal silver coin of ancient Greece.
3.
a small unit of weight in ancient Greece, approximately equivalent to the U.S. and British apothecaries' dram.
4.
any of various modern weights, especially a dram.
Also, drachm.


Origin:
1520–30; < Latin < Greek drachmḗ, probably equivalent to drach- base of drássesthai to grasp + -mē noun suffix (hence literally, handful)

drachmal, adjective
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World English Dictionary
drachma (ˈdrækmə)
 
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]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

drachma
1579, from Gk. drakhme, an Attic coin and weight, probably originally "a handful" (see dram).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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