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Word of the Day
Friday, September 17, 2004

Definitions for avoirdupois

  1. Avoirdupois weight, a system of weights based on a pound containing 16 ounces or 7,000 grains (453.59 grams).
  2. Weight; heaviness; as, a person of much avoirdupois.

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Citations for avoirdupois
Claydon . . . was happy to admit that he has shed some avoirdupois. Mel Webb, Times (London)
Yet until middle age and avoirdupois overtook her, Mary was no slouch. John Updike, New York Times
Origin of avoirdupois
1250-1300
Avoirdupois is from Middle English avoir de pois, "goods sold by weight," from Old French aveir de peis, literally "goods of weight," from aveir, "property, goods" (from aveir, "to have," from Latin habere, "to have, to hold, to possess property") + de, "from" (from the Latin) + peis, "weight," from Latin pensum, "weight."