[roh-muh nz]
See more synonyms for Romans on
noun (used with a singular verb)
  1. an Epistle of the New Testament, written by Paul to the Christian community in Rome. Abbreviation: Rom.


noun, plural ro·mans [raw-mahn] /rɔˈmɑ̃/. French.
  1. a metrical narrative, especially in medieval French literature.
  2. a novel.


[roh-muh n]
  1. of or relating to the ancient or modern city of Rome, or to its inhabitants and their customs and culture: Roman restaurants.
  2. of or relating to the ancient kingdom, republic, and empire whose capital was the city of Rome.
  3. of a kind or character regarded as typical of the ancient Romans: Roman virtues.
  4. (usually lowercase) designating or pertaining to the upright style of printing types most commonly used in modern books, periodicals, etc., of which the main text of this dictionary is an example.
  5. of or relating to the Roman Catholic Church.
  6. noting, pertaining to, or resembling the architecture of ancient Rome, especially the public and religious architecture, characterized by the employment of massive brick and concrete construction, with such features as the semicircular arch, the dome, and groin and barrel vaults, by the use in interiors of marble and molded stucco revetments, by the elaboration of the Greek orders as purely decorative motifs for the adornment of façades and interiors, and by an overall effect in which simplicity and grandeur of massing is often combined with much elaboration of detailing.
  7. written in or pertaining to Roman numerals.
  1. a native, inhabitant, or citizen of ancient or modern Rome.
  2. the dialect of Italian spoken in Rome.
  3. (usually lowercase) roman type or lettering.
  4. Disparaging. a member of the Roman Catholic Church.
  5. Rare. the Latin language.
  6. a male given name.

Origin of Roman

before 900; < Latin Rōmānus (see Rome, -an); replacing Middle English Romain < Old French < Latin, as above; replacing Old English Roman(e) < Latin, as above
Related formsan·ti-Ro·man, adjective, nounnon-Ro·man, adjective, nounpost-Ro·man, adjectivepre-Ro·man, adjective, nounpseu·do-Ro·man, adjective, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for romans

font, case, boldface, roman, italic, agate, pica

Examples from the Web for romans

Contemporary Examples of romans

Historical Examples of romans

  • This time the Romans decided to be thorough in their work of destruction.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • After that the Romans sailed over from Italy and conquered her again.

  • We have a letter that one of those old Romans wrote to a friend.

  • Powerful tribes, like the Romans, Saxons and Normans, have tried to overwhelm them.

    Welsh Fairy Tales

    William Elliott Griffis

  • The Romans adapted their dwellings to the climate in which they lived.

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

British Dictionary definitions for romans


  1. (functioning as singular) a book of the New Testament (in full The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans), containing one of the fullest expositions of the doctrines of Saint Paul, written in 58 ad


  1. of, relating to, or denoting a vertical style of printing type: the usual form of type for most printed matterCompare italic
  1. roman type or print

Word Origin for roman

C16: so called because the style of letters is that used in ancient Roman inscriptions


  1. a metrical narrative in medieval French literature derived from the chansons de geste


  1. of or relating to Rome or its inhabitants in ancient or modern times
  2. of or relating to Roman Catholicism or the Roman Catholic Church
  3. denoting, relating to, or having the style of architecture used by the ancient Romans, characterized by large-scale masonry domes, barrel vaults, and semicircular arches
  1. a citizen or inhabitant of ancient or modern Rome
  2. informal short for Roman Catholic
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 romans



Old English, from Latin Romanus "of Rome, Roman," from Roma "Rome" (see Rome). The adjective is c.1300, from Old French Romain. The Old English adjective was romanisc, which yielded Middle English Romanisshe.

As a type of numeral (usually contrasted to Arabic) it is attested from 1728; as a type of lettering (based on the upright style typical of Roman inscriptions, contrasted to Gothic, or black letter, and italic) it is recorded from 1510s. Roman nose is from 1620s. Roman candle as a type of fireworks is recorded from 1834. Roman Catholic is attested from c.1600, a conciliatory formation from the time of the Spanish Match, replacing Romanist, Romish which by that time had the taint of insult in Protestant England.



"a novel," 1765, from French roman, from Old French romanz (see romance (n.)); roman à clef, novel in which characters represent real persons, literally "novel with a key" (French), first attested in English 1893. And, for those who can't get enough of it, roman policier "a story of police detection" (1928).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with romans


see when in Rome do as the Romans do.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.