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

  • adjective Not ordinary or usual; odd or strange: synonym: strange.
  • adjective Belonging distinctively or primarily to one person, group, or kind; special or unique.
  • noun A privilege or property that is exclusively one's own.
  • noun Chiefly British A church or parish under the jurisdiction of a diocese different from that in which it lies.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun Exclusive property; that which belongs to one to the exclusion of others.
  • noun A person or thing that is peculiar: as, the Plumstead Peculiars.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A mistress.
  • noun In Oxford, a nickname for an Evangelical.

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

  • noun That which is peculiar; a sole or exclusive property; a prerogative; a characteristic.
  • noun (Eng. Canon Law) A particular parish or church which is exempt from the jurisdiction of the ordinary.
  • noun (Eng. Law) a branch of the Court of Arches having cognizance of the affairs of peculiars.
  • noun See under Dean, 1.
  • adjective 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.
  • adjective Particular; individual; special; appropriate.
  • adjective Unusual; singular; rare; strange.

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

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

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

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


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

[Middle English peculier, personal, from Latin pecūliāris, from pecūlium, private property; see peku- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin peculiaris ("one's own"), from Latin peculium ("private property"), from Latin pecus ("cattle").


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