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’
    • ‘Hostile optimate senators and personal enemies were quick to take advantage of the situation to bring down populares like Saturninus and Glaucia.’
    • ‘As important as Africanus or Caesar in the history of the Republic, Sulla was a touchstone both for the popular and the optimate party.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Augustus was neither an optimate nor a popularis; he was both, or rather, could be either one as the situation required.’
    • ‘The death of Pompey signalled the end of the optimate cause, and the beginning of Caesar's supremacy.’
    1. 1.1A noble or aristocrat.
      • ‘It is impossible, that the People, as one Body Politick, should covenant with the Aristocracy or Optimates.’
      • ‘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.’
      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.