lese majesty

[ lez, leez ]
/ ˈlɛz, liz /


  1. a crime, especially high treason, committed against the sovereign power.
  2. an offense that violates the dignity of a ruler.
an attack on any custom, institution, belief, etc., held sacred or revered by numbers of people: Her speech against Mother's Day was criticized as lese majesty.
Also lèse majesty, lèse maj·es·té [lez mah-juh-stey; lez maj-uh-stee, leez] /ˈlɛz ˌmɑ dʒəˈsteɪ; ˈlɛz ˈmædʒ ə sti, ˈliz/.

Origin of lese majesty

1530–40; < French lèse-majesté, after Latin (crīmen) laesae mājestātis (the crime) of injured majesty
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

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British Dictionary definitions for lese-majesty

/ (ˈliːzˈmædʒɪstɪ) /


any of various offences committed against the sovereign power in a state; treason
an attack on authority or position

Word Origin for lese-majesty

C16: from French lèse majesté, from Latin laesa mājestās wounded majesty
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