noun \ˈdük also ˈdyük\

: a man of very high rank in the British nobility

: the ruler of an independent area of land especially in some parts of Europe in the past

dukes : fists or hands

Full Definition of DUKE

:  a sovereign male ruler of a continental European duchy
:  a nobleman of the highest hereditary rank; especially :  a member of the highest grade of the British peerage
[probably from dukes of York, rhyming slang for fork (hand, fist)] slang :  fist, hand —usually used in plural
duke·dom \-dəm\ noun

Examples of DUKE

  1. Put up your dukes and fight, you coward!

Origin of DUKE

Middle English, from Anglo-French duc, from Latin duc-, dux, from ducere to lead — more at tow
First Known Use: 12th century

Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism

Rhymes with DUKE



Definition of DUKE

intransitive verb
:  fight
duke it out
:  to engage in a fight and especially a fistfight

First Known Use of DUKE

circa 1947


biographical name \ˈdük, ˈdyük\

Definition of DUKE

Benjamin Newton 1855–1929 & his bro. James Buchanan 1856–1925 Am. tobacco industrialists


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

European title of nobility, the highest rank below a prince or king except in countries having such titles as archduke or grand duke. The wife of a duke is a duchess. The Romans gave the title dux to high military commanders with territorial responsibilities. It was adopted by the barbarian invaders of the Roman Empire and was used in their kingdoms and also in France and Germany for rulers of very large areas. In some European countries a duke is a sovereign prince who rules an independent duchy. In Britain, where there were no ducal titles until 1337, it is a hereditary title.


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