[doo-chey; Italian doo-che]

noun, plural du·ces, du·ci [doo-chee] /ˈdu tʃi/.

a leader or dictator.
il Duce, the leader: applied especially to Benito Mussolini as head of the fascist Italian state.

Origin of duce

1920–25; < Italian < Medieval Latin dux (genitive ducis), Latin: leader; cf. duke, dux


[duhks, doo ks]

noun, plural du·ces [doo-seez, dyoo-, doo-keys] /ˈdu siz, ˈdyu-, ˈdu keɪs/, dux·es [duhk-siz, doo k-] /ˈdʌk sɪz, ˈdʊk-/.

British. the pupil who is academically first in a class or school.
(in the later Roman Empire) a military chief commanding the troops in a frontier province.

Origin of dux

1800–10; < Latin: literally, leader, noun derivative from base of dūcere to lead
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for duces

Historical Examples of duces

  • And, by the way, isn't there such a writ as a mandamus, or a duces tecum?

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

  • To do the duty of a duces tecum we have a diligence against havers.

    The Book-Hunter

    John Hill Burton

  • In the Bible the word dukes is used (Gen. xxxvi) for the duces of the Vulgate.

  • The two classes of officers of which we hear most were the counts (Latin, comites) and the dukes (Latin, duces).

  • Duces autem contrarii excercitus, sese densis agminibus et consertis aciebus, uiolenter opponunt aduentantibus.


    R. W. Chambers

British Dictionary definitions for duces




Word Origin for duce

C20: from Italian, from Latin dux



Il Duce (il) the title assumed by Benito Mussolini as leader of Fascist Italy (1922–43)



(in Scottish and certain other schools) the top pupil in a class or school

Word Origin for dux

Latin: leader
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 duces



1923, title assumed by Benito Mussolini (1883-1945); Italian, literally "leader," from Latin ducem (see duke (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper