Definitions

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

  • noun The British governmental department charged with the collection and management of the national revenue.
  • noun In Great Britain, the Court of Exchequer.
  • noun A treasury, as of a nation or organization.
  • noun Financial resources; funds.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun [capitalized] In England, an ancient court or tribunal, more fully designated the Court of Exchequer, in which all causes affecting the revenues of the crown were tried and decided.
  • noun [capitalized] In Scotland, a court of similar nature and history, abolished in 1857.
  • noun [capitalized] In the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, that department of the government which has charge of all matters relating to the public revenue of the kingdom, the head of which is called the Chancellor of the Exchequer. See chancellor, 3 .
  • noun A state treasury: as, the war drained the exchequer.
  • noun Pecuniary resources; finances: as, my exchequer was getting low. [Colloq.]
  • To sue in the Court of Exchequer.

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

  • transitive verb To institute a process against (any one) in the Court of Exchequer.
  • noun engraving One of the superior courts of law; -- so called from a checkered cloth, which covers, or formerly covered, the table.
  • noun The department of state having charge of the collection and management of the royal revenue. [Eng.] Hence, the treasury; and, colloquially, pecuniary possessions in general.
  • noun See under Baron.
  • noun See under Chancellor.
  • noun (Eng.) bills of money, or promissory bills, issued from the exchequer by authority of Parliament; a species of paper currency emitted under the authority of the government, and bearing interest.

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

  • noun a treasury
  • noun an available fund of money, especially one for a specific purpose

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

  • noun the funds of a government or institution or individual

Etymologies

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

[Alteration of Middle English escheker, from Old French eschequier, counting table, chessboard, from eschec, check; see check.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman escheker ("chessboard"); from Medieval Latin scaccarium. This is because the grid on which the exchequer counted money resembled a chessboard.

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