Definition of Maundy in English:


(also Royal Maundy)


  • 1[mass noun] (in the UK) a public ceremony on the Thursday before Easter (Maundy Thursday) at which the monarch distributes specially minted coins.

    • ‘The first known record of Royal Maundy took place here, when King John fed and clothed 13 paupers in 1210.’
    • ‘The practice of Maundy gifts dates back to 1210 when King John distributed food and clothing to the poor in the Yorkshire town of Knaresborough (my home town).’
    • ‘Whereas Henry VIII spent an average of £63 on the annual Maundy ceremony, Mary's honour required an outlay of £160.’
    1. 1.1 The money distributed by the monarch at the Maundy ceremony; Maundy money:
      [as modifier] ‘a George I Maundy fourpence’
      • ‘Plus, back home she has handed out the Royal Maundy in so many of the cathedrals in England and Wales that one wonders which ones she's missed?’
      • ‘They were among 13 arrests made during the visit which saw the Queen hand out Maundy coins to 158 pensioners.’
      • ‘The Maundy recipients told the Evening Press that they were determined not to sell the coins.’
      • ‘Each white purse contained 79p in Maundy coins, reflecting the Queen's age on her next birthday.’
      • ‘Two years later the Queen was in North Yorkshire again, distributing the Maundy Money at Ripon Cathedral.’


Middle English: from Old French mande, from Latin mandatum mandate, commandment, from mandatum novum new commandment (see John 13:34).