a rod or wand borne in the hand as an emblem of regal or imperial power.
royal or imperial power or authority; sovereignty.

verb (used with object)

to give a scepter to; invest with authority.

Also especially British, scep·tre.

Origin of scepter

1250–1300; Middle English (s)ceptre < Old French < Latin scēptrum < Greek skêptron staff; akin to shaft
Related formsscep·ter·less, adjectivescep·tral [sep-truh l] /ˈsɛp trəl/, adjectiveun·scep·tered, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sceptered

Historical Examples of sceptered

  • Robed in his snowy ermine he stands out a sceptered hermit wrapped in his isolation.

    A Summer's Outing

    Carter H. Harrison

  • It seems to me then that I would rather be a hero of a French duel than a crowned and sceptered monarch.

    A Tramp Abroad, Complete

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • In a cave, with his foot upon the corpse of a youth, sat the crowned and sceptered majesty of Death.

    Mizora: A Prophecy

    Mary E. Bradley

  • On the wall above the bed hung the portrait of the late King Alsen, sceptered, official, and benevolent.

    Captives of the Flame

    Samuel R. Delany

  • Hence it is among these that poverty sits enthroned—a sceptered king ruling amid disease and death.

Word Origin and History for sceptered



c.1300, ceptre, from Old French sceptre (12c.), from Latin sceptrum "royal staff," from Greek skeptron "staff to lean on; royal scepter;" in transferred use, "royalty," from root of skeptein "to prop or stay, lean on." Apparently a cognate with Old English sceaft (see shaft (n.1)). The verb meaning "to furnish with a scepter" is from 1520s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper