Share this entry

Share this page

patrician

Syllabification: pa·tri·cian
Pronunciation: /pəˈtriSHən
 
/

Definition of patrician in English:

noun

1An aristocrat or nobleman.
Example sentences
  • Ideology justifies the rule of each ruling class, whether as chieftains, patricians, landowners, or those with capital, the bourgeoisie.
  • The children in Chardin's paintings are not little patricians but youngsters from his personal circle of craftsmen and small traders.
  • What are her obligations as the last of the patricians?
Synonyms
aristocrat, grandee, noble, nobleman, noblewoman, lord, lady, peer, peeress;
blue blood
1.1North American A member of a long-established wealthy family.
Example sentences
  • He's a wealthy patrician, but he does have an impressive record of military service.
  • Like so many other young British patricians, he was saved from becoming a complete emotional cripple by a tenderhearted nanny.
  • Unlike many Virginia patricians of his time, he was able both to live elegantly and to preserve his property.
1.2A member of a noble family or class in ancient Rome.
Example sentences
  • The intention was to recreate the environment of the patricians of ancient Rome and to celebrate agrarian, pastoral, Christian, and cultured life.
  • Between 500 and 300 B.C., there developed within the body of the citizenry, a division between two social groups or classes: patricians and plebeians.
  • Montague has learned from Beckett; in both there is the iron resignation and sadness of a Roman patrician, a Cicero, or, better perhaps, a Seneca.

adjective

Back to top  
1Belonging to or characteristic of the aristocracy: a proud, patrician face
More example sentences
  • As industrial employment declined, the luxury of patrician landowners living from landed income maintained the demand for urban services.
  • But that is a fault of the patrician government.
  • And her patrician demeanour bespeaks her standing in the sport over which she has reigned supreme for a period spanning three Olympics.
Synonyms
informal upper-crust
archaic gentle
1.1North American Belonging to or characteristic of a long-established and wealthy family.
Example sentences
  • If I had to draw a parallel I would say they are like the patrician families of the reconstruction American South, trying to maintain their historic dominance after the end of slavery.
  • Perhaps it was from this socially secure family that Reynold received his patrician ease, his apparent freedom from self-doubt, and his refined aesthetic sense.
  • The major department stores, while one might be a bit trendier and another a bit more patrician, all sell pretty much the same stuff.
1.2Belonging to the nobility of ancient Rome.
Example sentences
  • She became the idol of patrician society of Rome.
  • Make time for Rome's patrician galleries - private collections of the great princes, in many cases still right in the family palace where they were first hung.
  • This was the era of patrician history, when scholars followed the great classical historians in holding up to posterity examples of errors, failings, and laudable deeds.

Origin

late Middle English: from Old French patricien, from Latin patricius 'having a noble father', from pater, patr- 'father'.

Definition of patrician in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

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 ads and access premium resources

Word of the day boscage
Pronunciation: ˈbäskij
noun
massed trees or shrubs