• synonyms


  1. a nonreigning male member of a royal family.
  2. History/Historical. a sovereign or monarch; king.
  3. (in Great Britain) a son or grandson (if the child of a son) of a king or queen.
  4. the English equivalent of any of various titles of nobility in other countries.
  5. a holder of such a title.
  6. the ruler of a small state, as one actually or nominally subordinate to a suzerain: Monaco is ruled by a prince.
  7. a person or thing that is chief or preeminent in any class, group, etc.: a merchant prince.
  8. a person possessing admirably fine and genial characteristics: He is a prince of a man.
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Origin of prince

1175–1225; Middle English < Old French < Latin prīncip- (stem of prīnceps) first, principal (adj.), principal person, leader (noun), equivalent to prīn- for prīmus prime + -cep- (combining form of capere to take) + -s nominative singular ending
Related formsprince·less, adjectiveprince·ship, noun
Can be confusedprince prints
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for princeship

Historical Examples

  • It was for them the sign of princeship, as a tiara was the sign of godhead.

    A Literary History of the English People

    Jean Jules Jusserand

  • He had the conviction that his princeship entitled him to disregard decency and the feelings of others.

  • I made the same low bow to his Princeship, and then bowed myself out of the circle without my sword tripping up my heels.

    The Art of Entertaining

    M. E. W. Sherwood

British Dictionary definitions for princeship


  1. (in Britain) a son of the sovereign or of one of the sovereign's sons
  2. a nonreigning male member of a sovereign family
  3. the monarch of a small territory, such as Monaco, usually called a principality, that was at some time subordinate to an emperor or king
  4. any sovereign; monarch
  5. a nobleman in various countries, such as Italy and Germany
  6. an outstanding member of a specified groupa merchant prince
  7. US and Canadian informal a generous and charming man
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Derived Formsprincelike, adjective

Word Origin

C13: via Old French from Latin princeps first man, ruler, chief


  1. full name Prince Rogers Nelson. born 1958, US rock singer, songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist. His albums include Dirty Mind (1981), Purple Rain (1984), Parade (1986), and Sign o' the Times (1987)
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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 princeship



c.1200, "ruler of a principality" (mid-12c. as a surname), from Old French prince "prince, noble lord" (12c.), from Latin princeps (genitive principis) "first man, chief leader; ruler, sovereign," noun use of adjective meaning "that takes first," from primus "first" (see prime (adj.)) + root of capere "to take" (see capable). German cognate fürst, from Old High German furist "first," is apparently an imitation of the Latin formation. Colloquial meaning "admirable or generous person" is from 1911, American English. Prince Regent was the title of George, Prince of Wales (later George VI) during the mental incapacity of George III (1811-1820).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper