Definition of optimate in English:



  • 1A member of the patrician order in ancient Rome.

    ‘he privately urged Cicero to determined action on behalf of the optimates’
    • ‘The death of Pompey signalled the end of the optimate cause, and the beginning of Caesar's supremacy.’
    • ‘As important as Africanus or Caesar in the history of the Republic, Sulla was a touchstone both for the popular and the optimate party.’
    • ‘Hostile optimate senators and personal enemies were quick to take advantage of the situation to bring down populares like Saturninus and Glaucia.’
    • ‘Augustus was neither an optimate nor a popularis; he was both, or rather, could be either one as the situation required.’
    • ‘Rome had already adopted the system of governing her Italian allies through the influence of the Optimates.’
    • ‘He could not force through his two demands in the face of stubborn opposition by the Optimates.’
    1. 1.1 A noble or aristocrat.
      • ‘As Nietzsche said they would, the plebs have got steadily Denser, the optimates Quicker still on the uptake.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is impossible, that the People, as one Body Politick, should covenant with the Aristocracy or Optimates.’
      nobleman, noblewoman, lord, lady, peer, peeress, peer of the realm, patrician, grandee, titled man, titled person, titled woman
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Late 16th century: from Latin plural optimates ‘aristocrats’, noun use of optimas ‘aristocratic’, from optimus ‘best’.