Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

Maecenas

play
noun Mae·ce·nas \mi-ˈsē-nəs\

Definition of Maecenas

  1. :  a generous patron especially of literature or art



Did You Know?

Although the ancient Roman Gaius Maecenas was a well-known diplomat and counselor to Emperor Augustus, it was his munificent patronage of literature that immortalized his name as a word for "a generous patron." A writer himself, Maecenas knew of the power of poetry and viewed it as a way to glorify Augustus's regime. Among the poets he patronized were the celebrated Virgil and Horace - both of whom he befriended. Maecenas has also been credited with encouraging both writers to focus more on topics of public interest, such as affairs of state.

Origin and Etymology of maecenas

Latin, from Gaius Maecenas †8 b.c. Roman statesman & patron of literature


First Known Use: 1542


Maecenas

play
biographical name Mae·ce·nas \mi-ˈsē-nəs\

Definition of Maecenas

  1. Gaius ca 70–8 b.c. Rom. statesman & patron of literature




Learn More about maecenas


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up Maecenas? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to proceed clumsily or ineffectually

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

lavender-fields-in-france

Which of these is a synonym of caesura?

megillah interruption rebellion torrent
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ