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

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 Both queens wore their organizations' mantles, Medici collars, crowns and scepters. Sue Strachan,, "Rex, Comus continue 100-plus year tradition at their Carnival balls," 14 Feb. 2018 The organization's traditional Medici collar, mantle, and scepter added radiance. Sue Strachan,, "Elves of Oberon sets the stage for its Carnival ball," 20 Feb. 2018 The gown was finished with the organization's traditional Medici collar, mantle, necklace, earrings and scepter. Sue Strachan,, "Krewe of Dorians bal masque continues a tradition," 10 Feb. 2018 At the other end of the spectrum, his mother-in-law, Dolly Ann Souchon Johnsen, was a former queen of Carnival who taught make-believe monarchs to walk, wave and wield their scepters. Contributing Writer,, "What do Barq's and James Bond have in common? This guy.," 4 Apr. 2018 Queen Isabel also wore the organization's Medici collar and mantle, while her custom crown and scepter were by Moan's Couture. Sue Strachan,, "Krewe of Hermes glittering 79th annual ball," 27 Feb. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about scepter

Statistics for scepter

Last Updated

7 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scepter

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for scepter



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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on scepter

What made you want to look up scepter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!