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Word of the Day
Sunday, February 03, 2008

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
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."
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