- A position requiring little or no work but giving the holder status or financial benefit.
“The professor was thinking about retiring, but he was grateful to move to a sinecure.”
“He served so many years at the same church that they gave him a sinecure.”
“Some people think this job is just a sinecure, but I do quite a bit of work with the community.”
Latin, mid-17th century
Why this word?
“Sinecure,” meaning “a position that requires little work, but still provides status or financial benefit,” comes from the Latin “sine cure,” meaning “without care.” It was originally used to refer to a church position that didn’t involve any duties — it was given perhaps in exchange for a donation or after long years of service. That sense of quid pro quo still stands, but “sinecure” extends beyond the church. Political donations might be given in hopes of a sinecure, or perhaps someone is given a sinecure position as a placeholder until another job opens up.
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