prae·​to·​ri·​an | \ prē-ˈtȯr-ē-ən How to pronounce praetorian (audio) \
variants: or less commonly pretorian

Definition of praetorian

1 often capitalized : of, forming, or resembling the Roman imperial bodyguard
2 : of or relating to a praetor

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Other Words from praetorian

praetorian noun, often capitalized

Examples of praetorian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The brigade received counter-insurgency training by North Korean advisers and was known as the elite praetorian guard of Mugabe, directly answerable to his office. Bram Janssen And Andrew Meldrum, Fox News, "Zimbabwe's Matabeleland massacre haunts Monday's elections," 28 July 2018 Ever since Margaret Thatcher ripped up the rule book for London’s financial markets in 1986, Tories have defined themselves as capitalism’s praetorian guard. Caroline Alexander,, "A Retirement, a Failed Coup and a Taboo: Weekend Reads," 30 June 2018 Mueller, a man appointed to direct the FBI by a Republican, has a sterling reputation — even according to the president’s praetorian guard, before partisanship forced them to change their story. Jonah Goldberg, National Review, "Seeing Through the Fog of Outrage Surrounding the Mueller Probe," 31 Jan. 2018 Mr Trump also threatened to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), the country’s praetorian guard, as a terrorist organisation. The Economist, "The battle for KirkukA new war in Iraq, now between Shia Arabs and Kurds," 16 Oct. 2017 But temptations of power proved too much as the mullahs and their praetorian guard indulged their taste for luxury. Reuel Marc Gerecht And, WSJ, "How to Defeat the Islamic Republic," 11 Oct. 2017 Thus the latest Korean Caligula gets global attention, his praetorian guard are assured of their continued privilege, and China offers its Cheshire smile to signal that Armageddon is avoided. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "The Korean Games of Thrones," 25 July 2017 At the same time, Hoover effectively ran the bureau like his own praetorian guard. Matt Ford, The Atlantic, "The Senate Meets Trump's Nominee for FBI Director," 12 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'praetorian.' 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 praetorian

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Cite this Entry

“Praetorian.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 8 December 2019.

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to constrict the range or activity of

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