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

  • n. An ancient Roman silver coin.
  • n. An ancient Roman gold coin valued at 25 silver denarii.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small silver coin issued during the Roman Empire, equal to 10 asses.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A Roman silver coin of the value of about fourteen cents; the “penny” of the New Testament; -- so called from being worth originally ten of the pieces called as.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The principal silver coin of the Ro-mans under the republic and the empire.
  • n. A Roman weight, the 86th or 94th of a Roman pound.
  • n. In English monetary reckoning, a penny, represented by the abbreviation d., the penny having been originally, like the Roman denarius, the largest silver coin: as, 6s. 8d. (six shillings and eight pence).


Middle English, from Latin dēnārius; see denary.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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  • "When the original treaty calling for “ever-closer union�? was signed in Rome in 1957, global currencies were tied to the dollar, which was linked to gold. Dreams of a common European money, harkening back to the days of the Roman Empire’s silver denarius, seemed impossible."

    The New York Times, Once an Impossible Dream, the Euro Reigns Supreme, by Carter Dougherty and Mark Landler, June 3, 2008

    June 3, 2008