Dictionary > Peculiar

Peculiar

peculiar
1. 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. And purify unto himself a peculiar people. (Titus II. 14) Hymns . . . That christianity hath peculiar unto itself. (hooker)
2. Particular; individual; special; appropriate. While each peculiar power forgoes his wonted seat. (milton) My fate is Juno’s most peculiar care. (Dryden)
3. Unusual; singular; rare; strange; as, the sky had a peculiarappearance.
Synonym: Peculiar, Special, Especial.
Peculiar is from the roman peculium, which was a thing emphatically and distinctively one’s own, and hence was dear. The former sense always belongs to peculiar (as, a peculiar style, peculiar manners, etc), and usually so much of the latter as to involve feelings of interest; as, peculiar care, watchfulness, satisfaction, etc. Nothing of this kind belongs to special and especial. They mark simply the relation of species to genus, and denote that there is something in this case more than ordinary; as, a special act of Congress; especial pains, etc. Beauty, which, either walking or asleep, shot forth peculiar graces. (milton) For naught so vile that on the earth doth live, But to the earth some special good doth give. (Shak)
Origin: L. Peculiaris, fr. Peculium private property, akin to pecunia money: cf. OF. Peculier. See Pecuniary.


You will also like...

Darwin's Finches - Natural Selection
Darwin and Natural Selection

This tutorial investigates the genetic diversity in more detail. It also delineates how certain alleles are favored over..

Community Patterns

Learn about community patterns and the ecological factors influencing these patterns. Revisit some of the ecosystems you..

Chromosome Mutations
Chromosome Mutations

Mutations can also influence the phenotype of an organism. This tutorial looks at the effects of chromosomal mutations, ..

sponge
Primitive Animals

Life, as we know it today, is presumed to have started in the sea and many of them were likely eukaryotic animal-like or..

An artistic depiction of Dunkleosteus fish
Fish

The sea was teeming with life. Eventually, through reproduction and continued variation, fish came about. There are over..

Birth of a Human Baby
Birth of a Human Baby

Following nine months inside the mother's womb is the birth of the baby. Know the different stages of the birthing proce..