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 scepter (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 Repeal the term limits and give him a scepter to carry. Grayson Quay, The Week, 7 Apr. 2022 Nearby is the venue for ski jumping, a complex built to resemble a ceremonial scepter popular in the Qing dynasty, complete with a 6,000-seat stadium at the bottom that is supposed to hold soccer matches after the Olympics. New York Times, 22 Jan. 2022 Minted around 1257, the nearly one-inch coin depicts the English king, who ruled from 1216 to 1272, sitting on an ornate throne while holding an orb and scepter. David Kindy, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Jan. 2022 In that image, outlined by copper, the former slave holds a scepter and wears a crown. Shelley Puhak, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 Jan. 2022 There are multiple buildings, and many come to see the Crown Jewels — the scepter, crown, and cape — worn by the monarch, but there are many fascinating exhibits and rooms to visit in the Tower. Rick Green,, 2 Dec. 2021 During that time, Ms. Hallmark becomes a focal point of the community, a fairy tale queen who presides over a court of ladies-in-waiting, duchesses, escorts, train bearers and one scepter bearer (in this case, Cameron). New York Times, 2 Nov. 2021 Queen Elizabeth II‘s years holding the scepter enjoyed its most rapturous reception in this, its fourth season, winning major awards nearly everywhere — though ironically not the BAFTAs, where it was shut out. Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times, 19 Sep. 2021 The episode ends in Salina, Oklahoma in 1858, where the same crew that was investigating the murder scene in France has found a scepter planted in the ground, surrounded by oil. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 9 June 2021 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

19 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Scepter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for scepter


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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