- 1a : a place in which stores of wealth are kept
- b : the place of deposit and disbursement of collected funds; especially : one where public revenues are deposited, kept, and disbursed
- c : funds kept in such a depository
- 2: obsolete : treasure
- 3: capitalized a : a governmental department in charge of finances and especially the collection, management, and expenditure of public revenues
- b : the building in which the business of such a governmental department is transacted
A treasury is any place where the currency or items of high monetary value (gold, diamonds, etc.) are kept. The term was first used in Classical times to describe the votive buildings erected to house gifts to the gods, such as the Siphnian Treasury in Delphi or many similar buildings erected in Olympia, Greece by competing city-states to impress others during the ancient Olympic Games. In Ancient Greece treasuries were almost always physically incorporated within religious buildings such as temples, thus making state funds sacrosanct and adding moral constraints to the penal ones to those who would have access to these funds.
The head of a treasury is typically known as a treasurer. This position may not necessarily have the final control over the actions of the treasury, particularly if they are not an elected representative.