Online Encyclopedia


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.
End of Article: PRICE

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