• synonyms


noun, verb (used with object), scep·tred, scep·tring. Chiefly British.
  1. scepter.
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  1. a rod or wand borne in the hand as an emblem of regal or imperial power.
  2. royal or imperial power or authority; sovereignty.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to give a scepter to; invest with authority.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sceptred

Historical Examples

  • The sceptred Julian believed in God, and had his own little superstitions.

    My Ten Years' Imprisonment

    Silvio Pellico

  • I have wealth and possessions and respect as great as if I were a sceptred King.


    Lewis Morris

  • While Nature slept, Magic, sceptred with a wand, sat on her throne.

    Berry And Co.

    Dornford Yates

  • The rest I don't remember; it's something about sceptred king's and beggar's dust coming to the same pass.

  • There the ghost of the dead empire still sat throned and sceptred.

    Renaissance in Italy Vol. 3

    John Addington Symonds

British Dictionary definitions for sceptred


US scepter

  1. a ceremonial staff held by a monarch as the symbol of authority
  2. imperial authority; sovereignty
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  1. (tr) to invest with authority
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Derived Formssceptred or US sceptered, adjective

Word Origin

C13: from Old French sceptre, from Latin scēptrum, from Greek skeptron staff
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 sceptred



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.

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chiefly British English spelling of scepter (q.v.); for spelling, see -re. Related: Sceptred.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper