Definitions

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

  • noun The primary unit of currency in Greece before the adoption of the euro.
  • noun An ancient Greek silver coin.
  • noun One of several modern units of weight, especially the dram.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The principal silver coin of the ancient Greeks.
  • noun A silver coin of the modern kingdom of Greece, by law of the same value as the French franc, equal to 19.3 United States cents. It is divided into 100 lepta.
  • noun A weight among the ancient Greeks, being that of the silver coin. See drum.

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

  • noun A silver coin among the ancient Greeks, having a different value in different States and at different periods. The average value of the Attic drachma is computed to have been about 19 cents (U. S. currency, ca. 1913).
  • noun A gold and silver coin of modern Greece worth 19.3 cents.
  • noun Among the ancient Greeks, a weight of about 66.5 grains; among the modern Greeks, a weight equal to a gram.

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

  • noun The currency of Greece from ancient times until 2001, with the symbol , since replaced by the euro.
  • noun A coin worth one drachma.
  • noun An Ancient Greek weight of about 66.5 grains.
  • noun A later Greek weight equal to a gram.

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

  • noun formerly the basic unit of money in Greece
  • noun a unit of apothecary weight equal to an eighth of an ounce or to 60 grains

Etymologies

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

[Latin, from Greek drakhmē, from drassesthai, drakh-, to grasp.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek δραχμή (drakhmē, "a drachma"), from δράσσομαι (drassomai, "to grasp, seize")

Examples

  • Unless they have already decided to price it in Greek drachma, rather than euro, he can tell you that there is an awful long way to go before austerity kicks in.

    US Market Commentary from Seeking Alpha

  • Its rival EBS, which is owned by ICAP PLC, said Sunday that it was testing trades in Greek drachma against both the dollar and the euro as a precautionary measure.

    Thomson Reuters FX Systems Ready To Adapt To Euro-Zone Changes

  • As The New York Times reports today, some economists believe that a default by Greece and return to the drachma might be the best course of action, though the results would be devastating.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • As The New York Times reports today, some economists believe that a default by Greece and return to the drachma might be the best course of action, though the results would be devastating.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • As The New York Times reports today, some economists believe that a default by Greece and return to the drachma might be the best course of action, though the results would be devastating.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • As The New York Times reports today, some economists believe that a default by Greece and return to the drachma might be the best course of action, though the results would be devastating.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • As The New York Times reports today, some economists believe that a default by Greece and return to the drachma might be the best course of action, though the results would be devastating.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • Greece's history in the drachma was an up-and-down history, a roller coaster.

    BusinessWeek.com -- Top News

  • As The New York Times reports today, some economists believe that a default by Greece and return to the drachma might be the best course of action, though the results would be devastating.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • "The choice between new austerity measures with the euro and a default with the drachma is the same as choosing to be killed at five minutes to midnight or at midnight," says Maniatis.

    BusinessWeek.com -- Top News

Comments

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  • Never realised this was a measure of weight.

    December 16, 2008

  • Yup - just like pound. I reckon most old units of currency probably derive from weights.

    December 17, 2008