Impecunious and pecunious

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Impecunious and pecunious may be used as antonyms, though with a twist. Antonyms are two or more words that have opposing meanings. We will examine the definitions of impecunious and pecunious, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Impecunious describes someone who does not have money, someone who is of meager means and is not well off. Someone who is impecunious may be considered penniless. The word impecunious is derived from the prefix im- meaning not, and the Latin word pecunia, which means money.

Pecunious describes someone who has money or loves money, but is very stingy with that money. Someone who is pecunious is miserly and ungenerous. The word pecunious is seldom used. Its antonym, impecunious, is used much more frequently.


They met twice: one when the boy was 11 and again at age 15 when he and his family were summoned for an audience with the pecunious recluse. (The San Diego Reader)

She had a knack for developing friendships with those who were more pecunious than her, and it was not unusual for me, the “colorful” but nevertheless entertaining nephew, to be invited along for dinners in small restaurants in the Village. (The Monterey County Herald)

The leader of one of the oldest democracies on Planet Earth, the most powerful nation in the world, the outside balancer of power in every region of the globe — the US — will meet with the dictator of one of the most totalitarian, tyrannical and impecunious nations on our globe with probably the worst track record of human rights abuses, including starving its own people to death — North Korea. (The Asian Age)

So it goes that an obscure young designer working away with impecunious inventiveness is discovered by a fabulous fairy godmother and given a fast-track ticket to international acclaim. (Vogue Magazine)