drachma

drachmal, adj.
/drak"meuh, drahk"-/, n., pl. drachmas, drachmae /-mee/.
1. a cupronickel coin and monetary unit of modern Greece, equal to 100 lepta. Abbr.: dr., drch.
2. the principal silver coin of ancient Greece.
3. a small unit of weight in ancient Greece, approximately equivalent to the U.S. and British apothecaries' dram.
4. any of various modern weights, esp. a dram.
Also, drachm.
[1520-30; < L < Gk drachmé, prob. equiv. to drach- base of drássesthai to grasp + -me n. suffix (hence lit., handful)]

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▪ Greek currency
      silver coin of ancient Greece, dating from about the mid-6th century BC, and the former monetary unit of modern Greece. The drachma was one of the world's earliest coins. Its name derives from the Greek verb meaning “to grasp,” and its original value was equivalent to that of a handful of arrows. The early drachma had different weights in different regions. From the 5th century BC, Athens gained commercial preeminence, and the Athenian drachma became the foremost currency. One drachma equaled 6 oboli; 100 drachmas equaled 1 mine; and 60 mine equaled 1 Attic talent.

      As a result of the conquests of Alexander the Great, the Athenian drachma came to be the monetary unit of the Hellenistic world. In time, silver coins of one drachma and its multiples were debased, and progressively higher proportions of copper were admixed. The drachma also became the prototype of an Islamic coin—the dirham. Nevertheless, as foreign invaders gained control in Greece, the drachma disappeared from use.

      When Greece finally achieved its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1828, the phoenix was introduced as the monetary unit; its use was short-lived, however, and in 1832 the phoenix was replaced by the drachma, adorned with the image of King Otto, who reigned as modern Greece's first king from 1832 to 1862. The drachma was divided into 100 lepta. In 2002 the drachma ceased to be legal tender after the euro, the monetary unit of the European Union, became Greece's sole currency.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Drachma — • A Greek silver coin Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Drachma     Drachma     † Catholic …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • DRACHMA — Gr. Δραχμὴ, genus nummi, quod interdum λεπτὸν ὁλκὴν, ὀβολὸν, δηνἀριον, quoque iidem dicebant, Romanis Denarius fuit, h. e. sesterti quatuor. Quod ad pondus, septem drachmae unciam incurrunt; unde consequitur, cum libra sit 12. unciarum, 84.… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Drachma — Drach ma, n.; pl. E. {Drachmas}, L. {Drachm[ae]}. [L., fr. Gr. ?. See {Dram}.] 1. A silver coin among the ancient Greeks, having a different value in different States and at different periods. The average value of the Attic drachma is computed to …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Drachma — (Drachme, gr.), 1) antike Silbermünze von verschiedenem Werthe: a) die D. von Abacänum (in Sicilien), = 8 Sgr.; b) von Ägina = 12 Sgr.; c) von Alexandria = 10 Sgr. 11 Pf.; d) die große attische = 7 Sgr.; e) die mittlere attische = 61/2 Sgr.; f)… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • drachma — 1570s, from Gk. drakhme, an Attic coin and weight, probably originally a handful (see DRAM (Cf. dram)). Earlier as dragme (late 14c.), from O.Fr. dragme, from M.L. dragma …   Etymology dictionary

  • drachma — drachmà sf. (2) TrpŽ 1. Graikijos piniginis vienetas. 2. senovinis vaistinių svorio matas, lygus 3,732 g …   Dictionary of the Lithuanian Language

  • drachma — a silver coin of ancient Greece (and the monetary unit of modern Greece before the introduction of the euro in 2002), has the plural form drachmas …   Modern English usage

  • drachma — {{/stl 13}}{{stl 8}}rz. ż Ia, CMc. drachmamie {{/stl 8}}{{stl 20}} {{/stl 20}}{{stl 12}}1. {{/stl 12}}{{stl 7}} jednostka monetarna we współczesnej Grecji {{/stl 7}}{{stl 20}} {{/stl 20}}{{stl 12}}2. {{/stl 12}}{{stl 7}} srebrna moneta bita w… …   Langenscheidt Polski wyjaśnień

  • drachma — ► NOUN (pl. drachmas or drachmae) 1) the basic monetary unit of Greece. 2) a silver coin of ancient Greece. ORIGIN Greek drakhm , an Attic weight and coin …   English terms dictionary

  • drachma — [drak′mə] n. pl. drachmas, drachmae [drak′mē] drachmai [drak′mī΄] [L < Gr drachmē, lit., a handful < drassesthai, to grasp, take by handfuls < IE base * dergh , to grip > TARGE] 1. an ancient Greek silver coin 2. an ancient Greek unit …   English World dictionary

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