Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A payment or profit received in addition to a regular wage or salary, especially a benefit expected as one's due. See Synonyms at right.
  • n. A tip; a gratuity.
  • n. Something claimed as an exclusive right: "Politics was the perquisite of the upper class” ( Richard B. Sewall).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any monetary or other incidental benefit beyond salary.
  • n. A gratuity.
  • n. A privilege or possession held or claimed exclusively by a certain person, group or class.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Something gained from a place or employment over and above the ordinary salary or fixed wages for services rendered; especially, a fee allowed by law to an officer for a specific service.
  • n. Things gotten by a man's own industry, or purchased with his own money, as opposed to things which come to him by descent.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An incidental emolument, profit, gain, or fee, over and above the fixed or settled income, salary, or wages; something received incidentally and in addition to regular wages, salary, fees, etc.
  • n. In law, whatever one gets by industry or purchases with his money, as distinguished from things which come to him by descent.
  • That may or must be sought out.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an incidental benefit awarded for certain types of employment (especially if it is regarded as a right)
  • n. a right reserved exclusively by a particular person or group (especially a hereditary or official right)

Etymologies

From Middle English perquisites, property acquired otherwise than by inheritance, from Medieval Latin perquīsītum, acquisition, from Latin, neuter past participle of perquīrere, to search diligently for : per-, per- + quaerere, to seek.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Medieval Latin perquisitum (something acquired for profit). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Okay, so after I looked up "perquisite" I thought they'd misspelled prerequisite, but it turns out it means "freebie" or "bonus", I thought--gee, who uses the word "perquisite"?

    January 2006

  • The Finance (No 2) Act, 2009, reintroduced stock incentives as 'perquisite' in the hands of employees.

    Daily News & Analysis

  • In making the annual contract with the baker, his perquisite was the thirteenth loaf of every dozen furnished—hence the baker’s dozen.23 He was expected to know how to make “all kinds of preserved fruit, both liquid and dry, stewed fruits, creams, sweet cakes, marzipans, syrups, flavored waters, and distilled liqueurs.”

    Savoring The Past

  • He hoped Dinwiddie would not renege on his promises and make his situation “worse by taking away the only perquisite I have.”

    George Washington’s First War

  • Therefore, the perquisite of receiving free housing in their office is a taxable expense, as opposed to leasing a condo or paying a mortgage, both of which have positive tax benefits.

    Brian Ross: Let Sleeping Congressmen Lie

  • If you are a city official who is considering spending taxpayer money on some sort of perquisite, perhaps you should consider how you will explain said perk in the pages of local newspapers or before the cameras of local TV outlets.

    DeMorning DeBonis: March 1, 2011

  • But a mere 12 pages earlier in the book, Fiske talks about perquisite, which he sneers is “commonly called a perk by the ever-monosyllabic, ever-hasty everyman”.

    Robert Hartwell Fiske strikes me as a prig and a bully « Motivated Grammar

  • CHICAGO—For 28 years, city Alderman Edward Burke has been protected by a squad of four bodyguards, a perquisite almost unheard of among municipal legislators.

    Chicago Power Broker Gets Heat Over Security Detail

  • The willingness to lead and facilitate those changes ought to be a perquisite for public office today.

    William S. Becker: Can We Handle Nature's New Norm? Part 1

  • The only religion that I know of that has a race as a perquisite for entry is orthodox Judaism via the maternal lineage.

    Giving evidence to the Chilcot inquiry, Tony Blair said: “I...

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Comments

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  • Perquisite - lovely word...as is pazzazzamole...except that's not a word, rather, a concoction.

    July 18, 2012

  • Citation on fob.

    July 29, 2008