Definition of optimate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɒptɪmət/

Entry from British & World English dictionary

noun (plural optimates /ɒptɪˈmeɪtiːz/)

1A member of the patrician order in ancient Rome: he privately urged Cicero to determined action on behalf of the optimates
More example sentences
  • The death of Pompey signalled the end of the optimate cause, and the beginning of Caesar's supremacy.
  • As important as Africanus or Caesar in the history of the Republic, Sulla was a touchstone both for the popular and the optimate party.
  • Hostile optimate senators and personal enemies were quick to take advantage of the situation to bring down populares like Saturninus and Glaucia.
1.1A noble or aristocrat.
Example sentences
  • It is impossible, that the People, as one Body Politick, should covenant with the Aristocracy or Optimates.
  • As Nietzsche said they would, the plebs have got steadily Denser, the optimates Quicker still on the uptake.
  • The sovereign body empowered kings, princes and optimates and could remove them.


Late 16th century: from Latin plural optimates 'aristocrats', noun use of optimas 'aristocratic', from optimus 'best'.

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