[klee-uh-pa-truh, -pah-, -pey-]


69–30 b.c., queen of Egypt 51–49, 48–30.
a female given name: from Greek words meaning “fame” and “father.” Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cleopatra

Contemporary Examples of cleopatra

Historical Examples of cleopatra

  • But to have been Caesar's mistress was Cleopatra's chief title to fame.

  • The whole scene is a libel upon Cleopatra and upon womanhood.

  • What magic in the utterance, what a revelation of Cleopatra's character and of Shakespeare's!

  • It is this greatness of soul in Cleopatra which Shakespeare has now to portray.

  • Mary Fitton was finer than his portraits; we want her soul, and do not get it even in Cleopatra.

British Dictionary definitions for cleopatra



a yellow butterfly, Gonepteryx cleopatra, the male of which has its wings flushed with orange



?69–30 bc, queen of Egypt (51–30), renowned for her beauty: the mistress of Julius Caesar and later of Mark Antony. She killed herself with an asp to avoid capture by Octavian (Augustus)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for cleopatra


common name of sister-queens in Egypt under the Ptolemaic Dynasty. The name is Greek, probably meaning "key to the fatherland," from kleis "key" (see clavicle) + patris, genitive of pater "father" (see father (n.)). The famous queen was the seventh of that name.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

cleopatra in Culture


A queen of Egypt (see also Egypt) in the first century b.c., famous for her beauty, charm, and luxurious living. She lived for some time in Rome with Julius Caesar. For several years after Caesar was assassinated, she lived in Egypt with the Roman politician Mark Antony. Antony killed himself on hearing a false report that she was dead. After Antony's death, Cleopatra committed suicide by allowing an asp, a poisonous snake, to bite her.


The play Antony and Cleopatra, by William Shakespeare, dramatizes Cleopatra's affair with Antony and her suicide.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.