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principate Syllabification: prin·ci·pate
Pronunciation: /ˈprinsəˌpāt/ /-pət/

Definition of principate in English:


The rule of the early Roman emperors, during which some features of republican government were retained.
Example sentences
  • Instead of following Caesar's example, however, and making himself dictator, Octavian in 27 BC founded the principate (from princeps, ‘the leading man’), a system of monarchy headed by an emperor holding power for life.
  • Piso had been accused of complicity in the death of Germanicus, the heir apparent of Tiberius [emperor 14-37 A.D.], in one of the causes célèbres of the early principate.
  • They were also the armies which they and other commanders turned against each other in the civil wars which destroyed the republic and led to the establishment of a principate under Caesar's adopted son, Augustus.


Late Middle English (denoting a principality): from Latin principatus 'first place', from princeps, princip- 'first, chief' (see prince). The sense 'rule of the emperors' dates from the mid 19th century.

Words that rhyme with principate

Rupert • episcopate
Definition of principate in:
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