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[seen-yer-ij] /ˈsin yər ɪdʒ/
something claimed by a sovereign or superior as a prerogative.
a charge on bullion brought to the mint to be coined.
the difference between the cost of the bullion plus minting expenses and the value as money of the pieces coined, constituting a source of government revenue.
Origin of seigniorage
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English seigneurage < Middle French seignorage, seigneurage; see seigneur, -age Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for seigniorage
  • The gap between the printing cost of banknotes and their face value is called seigniorage.
  • The overall net benefit was due solely to increased seigniorage and not to reduced production costs.
  • At first, the seigniorage to offset the costs of new coins would derive from coins manufactured under current law.
  • Click on the dictionary to find out about seigniorage.
  • seigniorage is the government's profit from the manufacture of coins.
  • seigniorage is treated as a reduction in the amount of money that must be borrowed from the public to finance the deficit.
British Dictionary definitions for seigniorage


something claimed by a sovereign or superior as a prerogative, right, or due
a fee payable to a government for coining bullion
the difference in value between the cost of bullion and the face value of the coin made from it
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for seigniorage

mid-15c., from Old French seignorage, from seignor (see seignior).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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