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Definition of sumptuary


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sump·tu·ar·y  audio  (smpch-r) KEY 

ADJECTIVE:
  1. Regulating or limiting personal expenditures.
    1. Regulating commercial or real-estate activities: sumptuary laws discouraging construction of large houses on small plots of land.
    2. Regulating personal behavior on moral or religious grounds: sumptuary laws forbidding gambling.

ETYMOLOGY:
Latin smpturius, from smptus, expense, from past participle of smere, to take, buy; see em- in Indo-European roots


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