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pe·cu·liar / pəˈkyoōlyər/ • adj. 1. strange or odd; unusual: his accent was a peculiar mixture of Cockney and Irish. ∎  inf. slightly and indefinably unwell; faint or dizzy: I felt a little peculiar for a while, but I'm absolutely fine now. 2. (peculiar to) belonging exclusively to: the air hung with an antiseptic aroma peculiar to hospitals. ∎ formal particular; special: any attempt to explicate the theme is bound to run into peculiar difficulties. ORIGIN: late Middle English (in the sense ‘particular, special’): from Latin peculiaris ‘of private property,’ from peculium ‘property,’ from pecu ‘cattle’ (cattle being private property). The sense ‘odd’ dates from the early 17th cent.

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peculiar that is one's own XV; individual, particular XVI; uncommon, odd XVII; sb. parish or church independent of the jurisdiction of the ordinary XVI. — L. pecūliāris not held in common with others, f. pecūlium property, f. pecu herd, rel. to Vedic páśu-, OE feoh live stock, property, OS., OHG. fehu (G. vieh), ON. , Goth. faihu; f. IE. base *peku. See -AR.
Hence peculiarity XVII.

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peculiar a parish or church exempt from the jurisdiction of the diocese in which it lies, through being subject to the jurisdiction of the monarch or an archbishop. Recorded from late Middle English (in the sense ‘particular, special’), the word comes from Latin peculiaris ‘of private property’, and ultimately from pecu ‘cattle’ (cattle being private property). The current sense ‘odd’ dates from the early 17th century.

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