Online Encyclopedia

PRICE

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 315 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PRICE, the equivalent in money for which a commodity is sold or purchased, the value of anything expressed in terms of a medium of exchange (see VALUE and WEALTH). The word is a doublet of " praise," commendation, eulogy, Lat. laus, and " prize," a reward of victory, the ultimate source of which is the Lat. pretium; the Aryan root par-, to buy, is seen in Skr. papa, wages, reward, Gr. 7r0rpaQrceev, to sell, &c. The O. Fr. pris, mod. prix, was taken from a Late Latin form precium, and had the various meanings of the English, " price," " prize," and " praise "; it was adapted in English as pris or prise and was gradually differentiated in form for the different meanings; thus " praise " was developed from an earlier verbal form preise or preyse in the 15th century; the original meaning survives in " appraise," to set a value to anything, cf. the cur-rent meaning of " to prize," to value highly. " Prize," re-ward, does not appear as a separate form till the 16th century. In " prize-fight," a boxing contest for money, the idea of reward seems clear, but the word appears earlier than the form " prize " in this sense and means a contest or match, and may be a different word altogether; the New English Dictionary compares the Greek use of aBXov, literally reward, hence contest. " Prize " in the sense of that which is captured in war, especially at sea, is a distinct word. It comes through the Fr. prise, early Romanic presa for prensa, from Lat. praehendere, to seize, capture. For the international law on the subject see PRIZE.
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BARTHOLOMEW PRICE (1818–1898)

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