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Wordnet 3.0

ADJECTIVE (4)

1. beyond or deviating from the usual or expected;
- Example: "a curious hybrid accent"
- Example: "her speech has a funny twang"
- Example: "they have some funny ideas about war"
- Example: "had an odd name"
- Example: "the peculiar aromatic odor of cloves"
- Example: "something definitely queer about this town"
- Example: "what a rum fellow"
- Example: "singular behavior"
[syn: curious, funny, odd, peculiar, queer, rum, rummy, singular]

2. unique or specific to a person or thing or category;
- Example: "the particular demands of the job"
- Example: "has a particular preference for Chinese art"
- Example: "a peculiar bond of sympathy between them"
- Example: "an expression peculiar to Canadians"
- Example: "rights peculiar to the rich"
- Example: "the special features of a computer"
- Example: "my own special chair"
[syn: particular(a), peculiar(a), special(a)]

3. markedly different from the usual;
- Example: "a peculiar hobby of stuffing and mounting bats"
- Example: "a man...feels it a peculiar insult to be taunted with cowardice by a woman"-Virginia Woolf

4. characteristic of one only; distinctive or special;
- Example: "the peculiar character of the Government of the U.S."- R.B.Taney


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Peculiar \Pe*cul"iar\, a. [L. peculiaris, fr. peculium private property, akin to pecunia money: cf. OF. peculier. See Pecuniary.] 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. [1913 Webster] And purify unto himself a peculiar people. --Titus ii. 14. [1913 Webster] Hymns . . . that Christianity hath peculiar unto itself. --Hooker. [1913 Webster] 2. Particular; individual; special; appropriate. [1913 Webster] While each peculiar power forgoes his wonted seat. --Milton. [1913 Webster] My fate is Juno's most peculiar care. --Dryden. [1913 Webster] 3. Unusual; singular; rare; strange; as, the sky had a peculiar appearance. [1913 Webster] Syn: Peculiar, Special, Especial. Usage: 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. [1913 Webster] Beauty, which, either walking or asleep, Shot forth peculiar graces. --Milton. [1913 Webster] For naught so vile that on the earth doth live, But to the earth some special good doth give. --Shak. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Peculiar \Pe*cul"iar\, n. 1. That which is peculiar; a sole or exclusive property; a prerogative; a characteristic. [1913 Webster] Revenge is . . . the peculiar of Heaven. --South. [1913 Webster] 2. (Eng. Canon Law) A particular parish or church which is exempt from the jurisdiction of the ordinary. [1913 Webster] Court of Peculiars (Eng. Law), a branch of the Court of Arches having cognizance of the affairs of peculiars. --Blackstone. Dean of peculiars. See under Dean, 1. [1913 Webster]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

peculiar adj 1: beyond or deviating from the usual or expected; "a curious hybrid accent"; "her speech has a funny twang"; "they have some funny ideas about war"; "had an odd name"; "the peculiar aromatic odor of cloves"; "something definitely queer about this town"; "what a rum fellow"; "singular behavior" [syn: curious, funny, odd, peculiar, queer, rum, rummy, singular] 2: unique or specific to a person or thing or category; "the particular demands of the job"; "has a particular preference for Chinese art"; "a peculiar bond of sympathy between them"; "an expression peculiar to Canadians"; "rights peculiar to the rich"; "the special features of a computer"; "my own special chair" [syn: particular(a), peculiar(a), special(a)] 3: markedly different from the usual; "a peculiar hobby of stuffing and mounting bats"; "a man...feels it a peculiar insult to be taunted with cowardice by a woman"-Virginia Woolf 4: characteristic of one only; distinctive or special; "the peculiar character of the Government of the U.S."- R.B.Taney
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:

159 Moby Thesaurus words for "peculiar": aberrant, abnormal, absurd, anomalous, another, appropriate, appropriate to, arbitrary, atypical, bizarre, categorical, characteristic, characterizing, classificational, classificatory, connotative, contrastive, crank, crankish, cranky, crotchety, curious, defining, demonstrative, denominative, denotative, designative, deviant, deviate, deviative, diacritical, diagnostic, differencing, different, differential, differentiative, discriminating, discriminative, distinct, distinctive, distinguished, distinguishing, divergent, divisional, divisionary, dotty, eccentric, else, emblematic, erratic, evidential, exceptional, exhibitive, expressive, extraordinary, fey, figural, figurative, flaky, freaked out, freakish, freaky, funny, identifying, ideographic, idiocratic, idiosyncratic, implicative, in character, indicating, indicative, indicatory, individual, individualizing, individuating, intrinsic, irregular, kinky, kooky, maggoty, marked, meaningful, metaphorical, naming, native to, natural to, not that sort, not the same, not the type, nutty, odd, oddball, of a sort, of another sort, of sorts, off, off the wall, offbeat, ordinal, other, other than, otherwise, out, out-of-the-way, outlandish, particular, passing strange, pathognomonic, personal, personalizing, private, proper, quaint, queer, quintessential, quirky, rare, representative, rum, screwball, screwy, semantic, semiotic, separative, signalizing, significant, significative, signifying, single, singular, sort, special, specific, strange, subdivisional, suggestive, sui generis, symbolic, symbolistic, symbological, symptomatic, symptomatologic, taxonomic, true to form, twisted, typal, typical, uncommon, unconventional, uncustomary, unearthly, unique, unnatural, unorthodox, unusual, wacky, weird, whimsical, wondrous strange
Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary:

Peculiar as used in the phrase "peculiar people" in 1 Pet. 2:9, is derived from the Lat. peculium, and denotes, as rendered in the Revised Version ("a people for God's own possession"), a special possession or property. The church is the "property" of God, his "purchased possession" (Eph. 1:14; R.V., "God's own possession").
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

PECULIAR, eccl. law. In England, a particular parish or church, which has, within itself, independent of the ordinary jurisdiction, power to grant probate of wills, and the like. 1 Eng. Eccl. R. 72, note; Shelf. on Mar. & Div. 538. Vide Court of peculiars.
U.S. Gazetteer Places (2000):

Peculiar, MO -- U.S. city in Missouri Population (2000): 2604 Housing Units (2000): 983 Land area (2000): 3.496290 sq. miles (9.055348 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.046421 sq. miles (0.120231 sq. km) Total area (2000): 3.542711 sq. miles (9.175579 sq. km) FIPS code: 56756 Located within: Missouri (MO), FIPS 29 Location: 38.720896 N, 94.456733 W ZIP Codes (1990): 64078 Note: some ZIP codes may be omitted esp. for suburbs. Headwords: Peculiar, MO Peculiar