Definition of Augustan in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ɔːˈɡʌst(ə)n/


1Connected with or occurring during the reign of the Roman emperor Augustus: a Roman villa of the Augustan period
More example sentences
  • The excavated area open to the public covers the forum, dated to the Augustan period.
  • Hence by the Augustan period the term murmillo replaced the old term samnis, designating a people south of Rome who had long since been subjugated by the Romans and absorbed into their culture.
  • One model can be seen in exhibition catalogues on Italy during the middle Republic, on the relationship between the Republic and the Augustan period, or on late antiquity in the city of Rome.
1.1Relating to or denoting Latin literature of the reign of Augustus, including the works of Virgil, Horace, Ovid, and Livy.
Example sentences
  • There is almost no rhetorical verse of the kind we find in Augustan Latin and later in Renaissance poetry throughout Europe.
  • The images and language are often startling but nevertheless forthright, and Horace, more than any other Augustan poet, employed the spoken or prose language rather than poetic register.
  • Ovid's strategic silence is designed for an audience familiar with the contextualization of the Marsyas figure in the Augustan world.
1.2Relating to or denoting 17th- and 18th-century English literature of a style considered refined and classical, including the works of Pope, Addison, and Swift: poets of the Augustan age
More example sentences
  • Translation was central to the Augustan programme to classicize English literary culture.
  • History, Science, and Satire in Augustan England and The Battle of the Books: History and Literature in the Augustan Age.
  • Samuel Johnson, however, found that he could not compile the kind of dictionary hoped for, and with the independence of the US a resistance to Augustan norms developed outside Britain.


A writer of the (Latin or English) Augustan period or style.
Example sentences
  • The writers of formal odes, Marvell and Dryden in particular, are also indebted to him and the critical writings of Dryden and the Augustans plainly reveal the influence of his Ars Poetica.
  • Darwin is a transitional figure between neo-classicism and Romanticism, breaking through ‘the invisible barrier between the Augustans and the Romantics.
  • For the Augustans, literary translation was both important and possible because the established codes of decorum remained sufficiently in force to subsume what were thought to be the most pleasurable aspects of style.


From Latin Augustanus 'relating to Augustus' (see Augustus).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: Au|gust¦an

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.