a man of high social position or eminence, especially a Spanish or Portuguese nobleman.

Origin of grandee

1590–1600; < Spanish, Portuguese grande, with ending assimilated to -ee
Related formsgran·dee·ship, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for grandee

Historical Examples of grandee

  • Since that letter I have learned more concerning this grandee, for such he is.

    Fair Margaret

    H. Rider Haggard

  • Tell her you're a Spanish grandee, and offer her a position as Spanish grandshe.

    Happy-Thought Hall

    F. C. Burnand

  • The centenarian accepted with the air of a grandee, and extended his horn snuff-box.

    The Octopus

    Frank Norris

  • He signed to the girl to retire with the air of a grandee dismissing some vassal.

    The Duke's Motto

    Justin Huntly McCarthy

  • He will be falling in love with some grandee next, mark my words!

    Wives and Daughters

    Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

British Dictionary definitions for grandee



a Spanish or Portuguese prince or nobleman of the highest rank
a man of great rank or eminence
Derived Formsgrandeeship, noun

Word Origin for grandee

C16: from Spanish grande
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 grandee

1590s, from Spanish grande "nobleman of the first rank," originally an adjective, "great," from Latin grandis "big, great" (see grand (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper