Simple Definition of patrician
: a person who is a member of the highest social class
Full Definition of patrician
1 : a member of one of the original citizen families of ancient Rome
2 a : a person of high birth : aristocrat b : a person of breeding and cultivation
Examples of patrician in a sentence
<the Southern patricians who once resided in these stately plantation homes>
Did You Know?
A patrician was originally a descendant of one of the original citizen families of ancient Rome. Until about 350 B.C., only patricians could hold the office of senator, consul, or pontifex (priest). Later, the word was applied to members of the nobility created by the Roman emperor Constantine. As time went by, other nobles, such as those in medieval Italian republics and in German city-states, also came to be known as patricians. Today someone's appearance, manners, or tastes can be described as patrician, whether the person is actually of high birth or not. The actress Grace Kelly, an immigrant's daughter, was admired for her patrician beauty even before she became Princess Grace of Monaco, with classic features worthy of ancient Rome's finest sculptors.
Origin and Etymology of patrician
Middle English patricion, from Anglo-French patrician, from Latin patricius, from patres senators, from plural of pater father — more at father
First Known Use: 15th century
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