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[pi-kyool-yer] /pɪˈkyul yər/
strange; queer; odd:
peculiar happenings.
uncommon; unusual:
the peculiar hobby of stuffing and mounting bats.
distinctive in nature or character from others.
belonging characteristically (usually followed by to):
an expression peculiar to Canadians.
belonging exclusively to some person, group, or thing:
the peculiar properties of a drug.
Astronomy. designating a star or galaxy with special properties that deviates from others of its spectral type or galaxy class.
a property or privilege belonging exclusively or characteristically to a person.
British. a particular parish or church that is exempted from the jurisdiction of the ordinary or bishop in whose diocese it lies and is governed by another.
peculiars, Also called arbitraries. British Printing. special characters not generally included in standard type fonts, as phonetic symbols, mathematical symbols, etc.
Origin of peculiar
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English; < Latin pecūliāris as one's own, equivalent to pecūli(um) property (derivative of pecū flock, farm animals; akin to pecus cattle (see fee)) + -āris -ar1
Related forms
peculiarly, adverb
unpeculiar, adjective
unpeculiarly, adverb
1. eccentric, bizarre. See strange. 2. extraordinary, singular, exceptional. 5. individual, personal, particular, special, unique.
2, 5. common. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for peculiarly
  • It was because of the peculiarly contradictory way in which the capitalist system generated its fabulous wealth.
  • peculiarly, the commercial real estate market isn't quite as depressed.
  • Behind them ranged a peculiarly native and original flight of poetry and inspiration.
  • But though she disdained her true gift, she was peculiarly suited by nature to be what in fact she was.
  • The versification sustains the solemn spirit which breathes throughout: it is peculiarly melodious.
  • The ceremonies of initiation were peculiarly solemn.
  • It is trust that knits up the world in these stories, a stuff peculiarly liable to fraying and raveling.
British Dictionary definitions for peculiarly


strange or unusual; odd: a peculiar individual, a peculiar idea
distinct from others; special
(postpositive) foll by to. belonging characteristically or exclusively (to): peculiar to North America
(printing) Also called arbitrary. a special sort, esp an accented letter
(Church of England) a church or parish that is exempt from the jurisdiction of the ordinary in whose diocese it lies
Derived Forms
peculiarly, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Latin pecūliāris concerning private property, from pecūlium, literally: property in cattle, from pecus cattle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for peculiarly



mid-15c., "belonging exclusively to one person," from Latin peculiaris "of one's own (property)," from peculium "private property," literally "property in cattle" (in ancient times the most important form of property), from pecu "cattle, flock," related to pecus "cattle" (see pecuniary). Meaning "unusual" is first attested c.1600 (earlier "distinguished, special," 1580s; for sense development, cf. idiom). Related: Peculiarly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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peculiarly in the Bible

as used in the phrase "peculiar people" in 1 Pet. 2:9, is derived from the Lat. peculium, and denotes, as rendered in the Revised Version ("a people for God's own possession"), a special possession or property. The church is the "property" of God, his "purchased possession" (Eph. 1:14; R.V., "God's own possession").

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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