patrician

noun
pa·tri·cian | \ pə-ˈtri-shən \

Definition of patrician 

1 : a member of one of the original citizen families of ancient Rome

2a : a person of high birth : aristocrat one of the most nobly born of English patricians —Sam Schulman

b : a person of breeding and cultivation a tall patrician … who looked as if she was accustomed to serving on boards and making important decisions —J. A. Michener

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Other words from patrician

patrician adjective

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.

Examples of patrician in a Sentence

the Southern patricians who once resided in these stately plantation homes

Recent Examples on the Web

That is because the Roman Forum began as a market and became the place where patricians would meet plebeians and press the flesh. Ron Grossman, chicagotribune.com, "Even Socrates may have mourned the closing of Toys R Us," 26 Mar. 2018 Plebeians and patricians, their tribunes and senators, are checks and balances on one another. Ryan Shinkel, WSJ, "Twilight of the Ancient World," 21 July 2017 Also seeking the ancient riches, for sympathetic ends, is a gorgeous South Asian yoga practitioner (Disha Patani), and, for evil ones, an Indian patrician (Sonu Sood). Andy Webster, New York Times, "Review: ‘Kung Fu Yoga’ Features Jackie Chan Saving the Day," 26 Jan. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'patrician.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of patrician

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for patrician

Middle English patricion, from Anglo-French patrician, from Latin patricius, from patres senators, from plural of pater father — more at father

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Time Traveler for patrician

The first known use of patrician was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for patrician

patrician

noun

English Language Learners Definition of patrician

: a person who is a member of the highest social class

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