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Pre"mi*um (?), n.; pl. Premiums (#). [L. praemium, originally, what one has got before or better than others; prae before + emere to take, buy. See Redeem.]

1.

A reward or recompense; a prize to be won by being before another, or others, in a competition; reward or prize to be adjudged; a bounty; as, a premium for good behavior or scholarship, for discoveries, etc.

To think it not the necessity, but the premium and privilege of life, to eat and sleep without any regard to glory. Burke.

The law that obliges parishes to support the poor offers a premium for the encouragement of idleness. Franklin.

2.

Something offered or given for the loan of money; bonus; -- sometimes synonymous with interest, but generally signifying a sum in addition to the capital.

People were tempted to lend, by great premiums and large interest. Swift.

3.

A sum of money paid to underwriters for insurance, or for undertaking to indemnify for losses of any kind.

4.

A sum in advance of, or in addition to, the nominal or par value of anything; as, gold was at a premium; he sold his stock at a premium.

 

© Webster 1913.