scep·​ter | \ ˈsep-tər How to pronounce scepter (audio) \

Definition of scepter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a staff or baton borne by a sovereign as an emblem of authority
2 : royal or imperial authority : sovereignty


sceptered; sceptering\ ˈsep-​t(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce sceptering (audio) \

Definition of scepter (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to invest with the scepter in token of royal authority

Illustration of scepter

Illustration of scepter


scepter 1

In the meaning defined above

Examples of scepter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Completing the look were the organization's Medici collar, crown and scepter, as well as the radiant necklace worn by Queen Talley's grandmother, Joy Nalty Hodges, during Carnival 1952, accented with a custom pearl choker. Sue Strachan,, "The Atlanteans ball celebrates Louisiana," 20 Feb. 2018 Gifts: • Shirley Temple’s gown, cape, crown, and scepter from The Little Princess (1939), donated by the Family of Shirley Temple Black. Joey Nolfi,, "Preview the Academy Museum's collection, from Bela Lugosi's Dracula cape to Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra wig," 21 Oct. 2019 Once the couples — 34 that day — reached their seats, the patriarch of the Maronite Church, dressed in crimson robes and gripping a scepter topped with a golden cross, led Mass and declared the whole lot husbands and wives. Ben Hubbard, New York Times, "Here Comes the Bride. And the Bride. And the Bride. Mass Weddings Boom in Lebanon.," 15 Sep. 2019 The ensemble was finished with the organization's crown, scepter, mantle and Medici collar. Sue Strachan,, "Stars align for The Achaeans bal masque," 1 Feb. 2018 Fuller has lately been channeling mythical monarchs, playing with gestures which nod toward regalia like perching a crown overhead, or clutching a scepter, grasping, perhaps, at an outward expression of feminine power and beauty. Lauren Warnecke,, "Momenta’s ‘Counter Balance’ has ingenious duets and wheelchair dance, as well as some unnecessary fluff," 9 Sep. 2019 With wooden horns and a scepter covered in ivy, Lagone says her cosplay was a representation of her own druid from Dungeons & Dragons. Emily Sabens, Indianapolis Star, "Santa Claus, Chewbacca, creepy clowns and more: 21 of the best costumes we saw at Gen Con," 3 Aug. 2019 Their $8,000 gift box includes rolling papers and accessories, with a solid gold rolling tray, and a gold tamper that has the shape of the queen's scepter. CBS News, "High-end shops for the marijuana smoker," 27 July 2019 Republican’ long for an ermine stole, a scepter and an orb. Clark Collis,, "Elvis Costello refers to Donald Trump as a 'mediocre entrepreneur' in letter accepting award from Queen," 10 June 2019

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1526, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for scepter


Middle English sceptre, from Anglo-French septre, from Latin sceptrum, from Greek skēptron staff, scepter, from skēptesthai to prop oneself — more at shaft

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Time Traveler for scepter

Time Traveler

The first known use of scepter was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Scepter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for scepter


How to pronounce scepter (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of scepter

: a long decorated stick that is carried by a king or queen


scep·​ter | \ ˈsep-tər How to pronounce scepter (audio) \

Kids Definition of scepter

: a rod carried by a ruler as a sign of authority a royal scepter

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