Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A unit of currency that is equal to 1/100 of the primary unit of currency in many countries where French is spoken as an official language, including Algeria, Morocco, and Switzerland.
  • noun A former unit of currency that was equal to 1/100 of the franc in France and Belgium.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In the French system of coinage, the hundredth part of a franc, or about one fifth of a United States cent. Its abbreviation is
  • noun A current money of account in Haiti, the hundredth part of a gourde or dollar, equal to ninety-seven hundredths of a United States cent.
  • noun More commonly, the thousandth part of a liter. The liter was intended to equal one thousand cubic centimeters and the weight of one liter of distilled water at the temperature of its maximum density was intended to equal the kilogram. The mass of the kilogram definitely adopted differs from the intended mass by one or more parts in a hundred thousand: since the liter is always determined by weighing, it also differs from its intended volume by a similarly small fraction. When this small fraction is negligible, the thousandth part of a liter is commonly called a cubic centimeter. The name milliliter is preferred by many for the thousandth part of the liter.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (F. Coinage) The hundredth part of a franc; a small French copper coin and money of account.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A former subunit of currency equal to one-hundredth of the franc.
  • noun A coin having face value of one centime.

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

  • noun a coin worth one-hundredth of the value of the basic unit
  • noun a fractional monetary unit of several countries: France and Algeria and Belgium and Burkina Faso and Burundi and Cameroon and Chad and the Congo and Gabon and Haiti and the Ivory Coast and Luxembourg and Mali and Morocco and Niger and Rwanda and Senegal and Switzerland and Togo

Etymologies

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

[French, from Old French centisme, from Latin centēsimus, hundredth, from centum, hundred; see dekm̥ in Indo-European roots.]

Examples

  • France; they have a small coin there which they call a centime, and these go five to the cent or there-about.

    Island Nights' Entertainments

  • A centime is the hundredth of a franc, and fifty centimes is ten cents.

    Dikes and Ditches Young America in Holland and Belguim

  • Herein resides the best possible solution to the European impasse: an outcome that restores growth, avoids self-defeating austerity, and allows the best possible recovery for bondholders, who would collect more pennies on the dollar than they would if debtor countries were pushed into depression in a futile effort to pay every centime.

    Memo to Europe: Forget the War

  • By the regular shipyard charges it ought not to have been a centime over twenty-five hundred francs -

    Bunches of Knuckles

  • For that reason, the euro is now less than half a centime away from the 1.20 level the Swiss National Bank established as its beachhead against further strengthening of the franc.

    Debt Woes Pressure Euro

  • How she might be bribed — up to 10 euros (yes, it would be worth every centime to be freed of this weight) — to store the bag until my train leaves (at the end of the day ...).

    Cafés

  • And in Italy, my husband walked in with some horrible strep thing, to a hospital, was fixed with free medicine and then sent to a specialist a few days later who diagnosed some allergy he had that no one here ever noticed... and he did not get charged a centime.

    Nina Burleigh: A Socialist and a Capitalist Walk Into a Bar...

  • How she might be bribed — up to 10 euros (yes, it would be worth every centime to be freed of this weight) — to store the bag until my train leaves (at the end of the day ...).

    Alps

  • If you paid taxes in either Italy or France, you were indeed "charged a centime" for your health care -- several, in fact, and likely more than you would have paid for comparable care in a free-market system.

    Nina Burleigh: A Socialist and a Capitalist Walk Into a Bar...

  • It's quite expensive, but worth every centime. 8 1/2 hours a day for 4 weeks plus lunch with the professors plus breakfast plus some optional evening and weekend events.

    Best Tips for Learning French - French Word-A-Day

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