Definition of denarius in English:


Syllabification: de·nar·i·us
Pronunciation: /diˈne(ə)rēəs

noun (plural denarii /-ˈne(ə)rēˌī/)

  • 1An ancient Roman silver coin, originally worth ten asses.
    More example sentences
    • The principal medium for the payment of these dues was the denarius or silver penny.
    • The earliest, a worn denarius of Severus Alexander, was particularly interesting as it showed that such coins were still in use at least 250 years after they had been struck.
    • The gold denomination of the Roman Empire was the aureus, which was worth twenty-five silver denarii.
  • 1.1A unit of weight equal to that of a silver denarius.
    More example sentences
    • In 793 or 794 Charlemagne raised the weight of the Frankish denarius and increased its size, thereby creating what would long remain the appearance of the typical medieval penny.
  • 1.2An ancient Roman gold coin worth 25 silver denarii.
    More example sentences
    • The very word ‘soldier’ means ‘paid’, from the Latin solidus, originally a gold coin worth 25 denarii, and the Old French soulde.
    • ‘Two gold denarii! ‘declared Charon with an air of finality.’
    • Included amongst them were a Roman denarius, several silver Roman hammered coins, a Saxon worker's livery badge and a partial bronze axe head dating back some 2,500 years.


late Middle English: Latin, literally 'containing ten', from the phrase denarius nummus 'coin worth ten asses' (see as2), from deni 'in tens', from decem 'ten'.

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