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Word of the Day
Wednesday, November 01, 2000

Definitions for perquisite

  1. A profit or benefit in addition to a salary or wages.
  2. Broadly: The benefits of a position or office.
  3. A gratuity or tip for services performed.

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Citations for perquisite
In a tight market for skilled labor . . . corporations are increasingly buying homes for hot new hires -- a perquisite once reserved for top executives. Jennie James, Time
It is a shock to find the master, whom we cannot help thinking of as the greatest gentleman in the history of art, regarding petty larceny as a perquisite of office and diverting the wages of sweepers and cleaners. Sir Lawrence Gowing, New York Times
Origin of perquisite
late Middle English
1400-1450
Perquisite derives from Medieval Latin perquisitum, from the past participle of Latin perquirere, "to search for eagerly," from per-, "through, thoroughly" + quaerere, "to seek." In Middle English it meant "property acquired by means other than inheritance." By 1565 it had acquired the sense "fringe benefit"; by 1721 it had also come to signify "a tip or gratuity."