- a person of noble or high rank; aristocrat.
- a person of very good background, education, and refinement.
- a member of the original senatorial aristocracy in ancient Rome.
- (under the later Roman and Byzantine empires) a title or dignity conferred by the emperor.
- a member of a hereditary ruling class in certain medieval German, Swiss, and Italian free cities.
- of high social rank or noble family; aristocratic.
- befitting or characteristic of persons of very good background, education, and refinement: patrician tastes.
- of or belonging to the patrician families of ancient Rome.
Origin of patrician
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for patrician
One of those votes belonged to Justice Lewis Powell, a well-heeled, patrician justice from Virginia appointed by Richard Nixon.The Sodomy Case That May Sway Justice Kennedy’s Same-Sex Marriage Vote
March 25, 2013
In one corner: the patrician, privileged, well-mannered 35-year-old Quayle.Ben Quayle’s Election Fight Gets Ugly
Terry Greene Sterling
August 26, 2012
He could be unbearably glib, but his patrician persona and acid tongue, his radiating sense of superiority, made for good showbiz.
He was a patrician radical, a type more common in Europe than here, since we have never had a formal aristocracy.
This patrician decline occurred at the state and local level as well.The Last Patrician: Romney Falls From Favor as America Loses Faith in Old Money
January 23, 2012
Distinguished from the Patrician, who was a saturated solution.The Devil's Dictionary
When silent she was the picture of a patrician beauty; but, alas!Shawl-Straps
Louisa M. Alcott
Patrician she was from the crown of her dusky head to the tip of her jewelled sandal.Nicanor - Teller of Tales
C. Bryson Taylor
"Patrician and plebeian must stand or fall together, my Marcia," he said quietly.The Lion's Brood
He might have been raised to the dignity of Patrician, if he would have renounced his Arian creed.Theodoric the Goth
- a member of the hereditary aristocracy of ancient Rome. In the early republic the patricians held almost all the higher officesCompare plebs (def. 2)
- a high nonhereditary title awarded by Constantine and his eastern Roman successors for services to the empire
- (in medieval Europe)
- a title borne by numerous princes including several emperors from the 8th to the 12th centuries
- a member of the upper class in numerous Italian republics and German free cities
- an aristocrat
- a person of refined conduct, tastes, etc
- (esp in ancient Rome) of, relating to, or composed of patricians
- oligarchic and often antidemocratic or nonpopularpatrician political views
Word Origin and History for patrician
early 15c., "member of the ancient Roman noble order," from Middle French patricien, from Latin patricius "of the rank of the nobles, of the senators; of fatherly dignity," from patres conscripti "Roman senators," literally "fathers," plural of pater "father" (see father (n.)). Contrasted, in ancient Rome, with plebeius. Applied to noble citizens and higher orders of free folk in medieval Italian and German cities (sense attested in English from 1610s); hence "nobleman, aristocrat" in a modern sense (1630s). As an adjective, attested from 1610s, from the noun.