emolument = Vergütung, Bezüge, Dienstbezüge



“In theory, it is illegal to give the US president gifts. Short of a direct cash bribe, however, such EMOLUMENTS are hard to prove in court. The Supreme Court threw out petitions to hear Trump’s conflicts of interest in 2021, saying they were no longer relevant because he had left office.”

Edward Luce - The Financial Times (21st February 2024)

Did you


- amounts received from an office or employment including all salaries, fees, wages, perquisites, and other profits as well as certain expenses and benefits paid or provided by the employer, which are deemed to be emoluments



“Emolument” directly comes from the Latin word ēmolumentum, which meant "profit" or "gain" in general.

There's an interesting theory that ēmolumentum itself originated from the verb emolere meaning "to grind out”. This connection suggests that the word might have initially referred specifically to the payment received by millers for grinding grain. This adds a layer of historical context and a surprising link to words like "mill" and "molar" which share the same Latin root.

Over time, "emolument" lost its specific association with milling and broadened its meaning to encompass any form of compensation for labour or services.


The concept of "emoluments" is integral to the U.S. Constitution, historical governance, and contemporary legal challenges:

1. Constitutional Role: The U.S. Constitution addresses emoluments to prevent corruption, with the Foreign Emoluments Clause barring federal officials from accepting gifts from foreign states without Congress's approval, the Domestic Emoluments Clause ensuring the President's compensation remains fixed during their term, and the Ineligibility Clause preventing lawmakers from taking government posts if the position's salary increased during their term.

2. Historical Relevance: The Emoluments Clauses were inspired by fears of foreign influence that were prevalent after the English Civil War. The founding fathers, including Alexander Hamilton, were determined to protect the fledgling nation from similar corruption, leading to the clauses' inclusion in the Constitution.

3. Contemporary Legal Challenges: The emoluments' issue resurfaced during the Trump Administration, with lawsuits questioning whether profits from President Trump's private business dealings constituted emoluments. These cases brought attention to the definition and scope of the clauses, although they did not establish a clear legal precedent.

A clear definition of what constitutes emoluments in the 21st century is critical to maintaining the integrity of public office and to preventing undue influence in government.


accrual, advantage, allowance, award, benefit, bonus, compensation, dividend, earnings, EMOLUMENT, extra, fee, fringe benefit, gain, gratuity, guerdon, honorarium, income, incentive, merit pay, pay, pay envelope, paycheck, payout, payroll, perk, perquisite, profit, recompense, remittance, remuneration, returns, reward, salary, stipend, wage

SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:

”The possibility of Donald Trump becoming the Republican presidential candidate has re-ignited discussion about EMOLUMENTS he received whilst in office.“

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