Definitions

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

  • adj. Unusual or eccentric; odd.
  • adj. Distinct from all others. See Synonyms at strange.
  • adj. Belonging distinctively or primarily to one person, group, or kind; special or unique: rights peculiar to the rich; a species peculiar to this area.
  • n. A privilege or property that is exclusively one's own.
  • n. Chiefly British A church or parish under the jurisdiction of a diocese different from that in which it lies.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Out of the ordinary; odd; curious; unusual.
  • adj. Common or usual for a certain place or circumstance; specific or particular.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. One's own; belonging solely or especially to an individual; not possessed by others; of private, personal, or characteristic possession and use; not owned in common or in participation.
  • adj. Particular; individual; special; appropriate.
  • adj. Unusual; singular; rare; strange.
  • n. That which is peculiar; a sole or exclusive property; a prerogative; a characteristic.
  • n. A particular parish or church which is exempt from the jurisdiction of the ordinary.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • One's own; pertaining to one, not to many; of private, personal, or characteristic possession and use; with to, belonging specially or particularly.
  • … Particular; distinct; individual.
  • Special; particular; select.
  • Singular; unusual; uncommon; odd: as, the man has something peculiar in his manner.
  • A religious denomination found in Essex, Sussex, Surrey, and principally in Kent, England, which believes that one may immediately cease from sin and become perfect in moral life and in spiritual perception. They therefore have no preachers, creeds, ordinances, or church organization. They also profess to rely wholly upon prayer for the cure of disease. Also called Plumstead Peculiars, from the place in which the sect originated. Synonyms Particular, etc. See special.
  • n. Exclusive property; that which belongs to one to the exclusion of others.
  • n. A person or thing that is peculiar: as, the Plumstead Peculiars.
  • n. In canon law, a particular parish or church which is exempted from the jurisdiction of the ordinary or bishop in whose diocese it lies, such as a royal peculiar (a sovereign's free chapel, exempt from any jurisdiction but that of the sovereign); a parish or church pertaining to an archbishop, bishop, dean, chapter, or prebendary, etc., which is not under the jurisdiction of the bishop of the diocese in which it is situated, but under that of some other archbishop, bishop, dean, etc.
  • n. In colonial and provincial Massachusetts, a parish, precinct, or district not yet erected into a town; a portion set off from a town and made independent of it in respect to all or most matters of local administration, but not in respect to choosing a representative to the General Court.
  • n. A mistress.
  • n. In Oxford, a nickname for an Evangelical.

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

  • adj. unique or specific to a person or thing or category
  • adj. characteristic of one only; distinctive or special
  • adj. beyond or deviating from the usual or expected
  • adj. markedly different from the usual

Etymologies

Middle English peculier, personal, from Latin pecūliāris, from pecūlium, private property; see peku- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin peculiaris ("one's own"), from Latin peculium ("private property"), from Latin pecus ("cattle"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • A town in Cass County, Missouri, United States.

    December 9, 2008

  • My mom's description of...er...odd people.

    October 24, 2007