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Definition of "patrician" [pa•tri•cian]

  • A person of refined upbringing, manners, and tastes. (noun)
  • A member of an aristocracy; an aristocrat. (noun)
  • A member of one of the noble families of the ancient Roman Republic, which before the third century B.C. had exclusive rights to the Senate and the magistracies. (noun)
  • Used as a title for members of a class of honorary nobility appointed by the Byzantine emperors. (noun)
  • A member of the hereditary ruling class in the medieval free cities of Italy and Germany. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "patrician" in a sentence
  • "Suppose Obama, the wise patrician, is elected in 2008."
  • "In later years, he was often described as patrician and courtly."
  • "Their resentment prompted them to show that they might have been useful friends, since they could be dangerous enemies: their nerves were braced by adversity: whatever was learned or holy, whatever was noble or valiant, rolled away into the independent states of Trebizond, Epirus, and Nice; and a single patrician is marked by the ambiguous praise of attachment and loyalty to the Franks."