Definition of ducat in English:



  • 1A gold coin formerly current in most European countries.

    • ‘Charles left Philip a total debt of 36 million ducats and an annual deficit of 1 million ducats.’
    • ‘The fans shelled out $200 for a ducat to the game.’
    • ‘The Armada cost 10 million ducats.’
    • ‘The military took up another 4.5 million ducats which left only 3 million ducats to govern the country.’
    • ‘Contarini reported that the Spanish monarchy's income and expenditures in Italy in the period was roughly 900,000 ducats in Sicily, 1,200,000 ducats in Naples, and 900,000 ducats in Milan.’
    • ‘When, in 1409, King Ladislas of Hungary sold Zadar and its surrounding islands to Venice for 100,000 ducats, little did he know he was heralding a great cultural interchange.’
    • ‘In the previous year, the procurators had doubled the amount spent annually on the building to 2,400 ducats.’
    • ‘Though they despised Shylock, the two managed to swallow their pride long enough to petition him to loan them three thousand ducats, to be paid back as soon as Antonio's ships returned to port.’
    • ‘He didn't care for the preservation of peasant songs in this far-flung outcrop of Europe: four ducats a song, however, he could not refuse.’
    • ‘Thus, he is shown as obsessed by money, a man who dreams of moneybags, whose very opening words are ‘three thousand ducats.’’
    • ‘This office was seen to be so important that anyone elected to it who refused to serve would face the considerable fine of 500 ducats.’
    • ‘In 1825-6 he experienced a disastrous year at the Teatro Carolino, Palermo, a position that paid him only 45 ducats a month.’
    • ‘For example, Bonifacio was paid only between ten and thirty ducats per painting.’
    • ‘John pays him one thousand ducats to do the dirty deed.’
    • ‘Three million ducats were sent to the remaining members of the Catholic League and the Duke of Parma was ordered to leave the war in the Netherlands and help defend Paris from Henry of Navarre.’
    • ‘To provide ourselves with a yardstick here, we can calculate that this sum is about 10 times more than the 50 or so ducats that a well-educated person such as a schoolteacher might hope to earn in a year.’
    • ‘A ducat weighs about 3.5 grams so this coin would be more than a 17-ducat coin.’
    • ‘The calculations were done with the help of soldiers who were given a gold ducat for every mistake they found.’
    • ‘By 1407, the Venetian government was paying all the expenses of the studio, had abolished competing schools in Treviso and Vicenza, and had instated a fine of 500 ducats for subjects who studied elsewhere.’
    • ‘Bassanio, a noble but poor Venetian, asks his friend Antonio, a rich merchant, for 3,000 ducats to enable him to prosecute fittingly his suit of the rich heiress Portia at Belmont.’
    1. 1.1ducatsinformal Money.
      ‘their production of Hamlet has kept the ducats pouring in’
      • ‘You get a lot of functionality for your hard earned ducats.’
      • ‘Speaking of shelling out the ducats, industry watchers seem to concur that during these flush economic times, and even during lean ones, parents will spend mightily on toys.’
      • ‘It is simply an economic decision to wring a few more ducats out.’
      • ‘With new ducats in hand, I'm off to Grand Central Station.’
      • ‘But some are valuable enough that, if they decided to charge ducats to visit, I'd fork them over.’
      • ‘Think Not Think will no doubt be playing for more than handouts this time, so be sure to bring your hard earned ducats as they unveil their CD Point of View at the Urban Lounge on Thursday.’
      money, ready money, cash, capital, finance, finances, resources, funds, reserves
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  • 2North American informal An admission ticket.

    • ‘First, thanks to quirks in their ticket distribution systems, I got shut out of Giants Division Series ducats but made it to all three games at the Coliseum.’
    • ‘I followed a meandering path to where I could talk to a ticket agent, see what was available and maybe even buy a pair of ducats.’
    • ‘When it came Buddy's turn to use the ducat (the family couldn't afford tickets for everybody), he saw his first play ever - the comedy ‘Turn to the Right.’’
    • ‘The Dallas Mavericks put bar codes on tickets, not just to track sales of the ducats, but to make sure they are selling them to folks who actually fill the seats.’
    • ‘Ticket prices went up more than $3 to an average of $43.86 a ducat.’
    pass, warrant, authorization, licence, permit
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From Italian ducato, originally referring to a silver coin minted by the Duke of Apulia in 1190: from medieval Latin ducatus (see duchy). ducat (sense 2) dates from the late 19th century.