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decemvir

[dih-sem-ver]
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noun, plural de·cem·virs, de·cem·vi·ri [dih-sem-vuh-rahy] /dɪˈsɛm vəˌraɪ/.
  1. a member of a permanent board or a special commission of ten members in ancient Rome, especially the commission that drew up Rome's first code of law.
  2. a member of any council or ruling body of ten.
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Origin of decemvir

1570–80; < Latin, orig. plural decemvirī, equivalent to decem ten + virī men
Related formsde·cem·vi·ral, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for decemvir

decennary, decennium, decagon, decade, decapod, decemvir, decemvirate

Examples from the Web for decemvir

Historical Examples of decemvir

  • Decemvir Appius takes a violent fancy to her,—must have her at any rate.

    The Professor at the Breakfast Table

    Oliver Wendell Holmes (Sr.)

  • Here is the Roman Lucillus, formerly a Decemvir, who has been banished.

    Historical Miniatures

    August Strindberg

  • I intend to write about the crime of Appius Claudius, the Decemvir.

    Selections from Viri Romae

    Charles Franois L'Homond

  • The maiden had attracted the notice of the Decemvir Appius Claudius.

    A Smaller History of Rome

    William Smith and Eugene Lawrence

  • Appius Claudius, the decemvir, saw her and lusted to make her his own.


British Dictionary definitions for decemvir

decemvir

noun plural -virs or -viri (-vɪˌriː)
  1. (in ancient Rome) a member of a board of ten magistrates, esp either of the two commissions established in 451 and 450 bc to revise the laws
  2. a member of any governing body composed of ten men
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Derived Formsdecemviral, adjective

Word Origin for decemvir

C17: from Latin, from decem ten + virī men
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