Share this entry

optimate Line breaks: opti|mate
Pronunciation: /ˈɒptɪmət/

Definition of optimate in English:

noun (plural optimatesɒptɪˈmeɪtiːz)

1A member of the patrician order in ancient Rome: he privately urged Cicero to determined action on behalf of the optimates
More example sentences
  • Augustus was neither an optimate nor a popularis; he was both, or rather, could be either one as the situation required.
  • He could not force through his two demands in the face of stubborn opposition by the Optimates.
  • Rome had already adopted the system of governing her Italian allies through the influence of the Optimates.
1.1A noble or aristocrat.
Example sentences
  • He practiced law at Florence and observed with optimate disapproval the increasing disinclination of Giuliano and Lorenzo to share power with anyone but their intimates.
  • The sovereign body empowered kings, princes and optimates and could remove them.
  • As Nietzsche said they would, the plebs have got steadily Denser, the optimates Quicker still on the uptake.


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

Definition of optimate in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources