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Word of the Day
Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Definitions for patrician

  1. a person of noble or high rank; aristocrat.
  2. a person of very good background, education, and refinement.
  3. a member of the original senatorial aristocracy in ancient Rome.

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Citations for patrician
His books became real for everyone who read them, whether the humble labourer in the Strand or the patrician in Mayfair. Matthew Pearl, The Last Dickens, 2009
When he began the book in November or December 1821, James Cooper was, nominally at least, a man of substance--patrician, gentleman farmer, owner of a whaling ship, and (as the only surviving son of the late Judge William Cooper of Cooperstown) heir to numerous farms and some thousands of acres of undeveloped land in New York State. James Franklin Beard, "Historical Introduction," The Pioneers (1823) by James Fenimore Cooper, 1980
Origin of patrician
late Middle English
The Latin adjective and noun patricius, patritius dates to the comedies of the Roman dramatist Plautus (c254-c184 b.c.). The word means having the rank and dignity of the patrēs (Roman senators), or a person with that dignity, a noble. According to the Roman historian Livy (59 b.c.–17 a.d.), Romulus, the legendary founder of Rome, appointed the first 100 senators and named them patrēs (fathers). From the time of the reign of the emperor Constantine (288?–337 a.d.) onward, patricius was a high honorary title that entailed no specified duties and was only occasionally awarded. Patrician entered English in the 15th century.