mid-15c., "property acquired other than by inheritance" (c. 1300 in Anglo-Latin), from Medieval Latin perquisitum "thing gained, profit," in classical Latin, "thing sought after," noun use of neuter past participle of perquirere "to seek, ask for," from per "thoroughly" (see per) + quærere "to seek" (see query (v.)). For Latin vowel change, see acquisition. The general meaning "any incidental profit, gain, or fee on top of regular wages" is by 1560s.
updated on April 12, 2020
Dictionary entries near perquisite