A sinecure (from Latin "sine", without, and "cura", care) means an office which requires or involves little or no responsibility, labour, or active service. Sinecures have historically provided a potent tool for governments or monarchs to distribute patronage, while recipients are able to store up titles and easy salaries.

A sinecure is not necessarily a figurehead, which generally requires active participation in government, albeit with a lack of power. A sinecure, by contrast, has no real day-to-day responsibilities, but may have de jure power.

A sinecure can also be given to an individual whose primary job is in another office, but requires a sinecure title to perform that job well. For example, the Government House Leader in Canada is often given a sinecure ministry position so that they may become a member of the Cabinet. Similar examples are the Lord Privy Seal and the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in the British cabinet. Other sinecures operate as legal fictions, such as the British office of Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Chiltern Hundreds, used as a legal excuse for resigning from Parliament.

List of sinecures

* Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports
* Lord President of the Council
* Lord Privy Seal
* First Secretary of State
* Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
* Lord Clerk Register
* President of the Privy Council (Canada)
* Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Chiltern Hundreds
* Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead

ee also

* Minister without Portfolio

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  • sinécure — [ sinekyr ] n. f. • 1820; n. m. 1803 ; sinecura 1715; angl. sinecure, du lat. sine cura, abrév. de beneficium sine cura « bénéfice ecclésiastique sans travail » ♦ Charge ou emploi où l on est rétribué sans avoir rien (ou presque rien) à faire;… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Sinecure — Sinécure Voir « sinécure » sur le Wiktionnaire …   Wikipédia en Français

  • sinecure — si‧ne‧cure [ˈsaɪnɪkjʊə,ˈsɪn ǁ kjʊr] noun [countable] JOBS a job which you get paid for even though you do not have to do very much: • The bureaucrats saw their sinecures endangered by the demand for efficiency. * * * sinecure UK US /ˈsɪnɪkjʊər/… …   Financial and business terms

  • Sinecure — Si ne*cure, n. [L. sine without + cura care, LL., a cure. See {Cure}.] 1. An ecclesiastical benefice without the care of souls. Ayliffe. [1913 Webster] 2. Any office or position which requires or involves little or no responsibility, labor, or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sinecure — Si ne*cure, v. t. To put or place in a sinecure. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sinecure — Sinecure, im Sprachgebrauche eine Anstellung, welche Vortheile einträgt ohne Mühe, oder Arbeit zu verursachen, namentlich aber in dieser Beziehung auf geistliche Pfründen angewendet …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • Sinecure — (vom lat. sine cura, ohne Sorge), Amt mit Gehalt und wenigen oder gar keinen Geschäften …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • sinecure — noun easily managed job, easy chore, easy employment, easy job, easy labor, effortless assignment, effortless employment, effortless undertaking, effortless work, light labor, light work, simple job, soft job, undemanding chore, undemanding job,… …   Law dictionary

  • sinecure — 1660s, church benefice without parish duties, from M.L. beneficium sine cura benefice without care (of souls), from L. sine without + cura, ablative singular of cura care (see CURE (Cf. cure)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • sinecure — meaning ‘a position that requires little or no work but provides profit or honour’, is normally pronounced siy ni kyoo ǝ, with the first syllable like sign …   Modern English usage

  • sinecure — ► NOUN ▪ a position requiring little or no work but giving the holder status or financial benefit. ORIGIN from Latin sine cura without care …   English terms dictionary

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