One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
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 A noble or aristocrat.
nobleman, noblewoman, lord, lady, peer, peeress, peer of the realm, patrician, grandee, titled man, titled person, titled womanView synonyms
- ‘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.’
Late 16th century: from Latin plural optimates ‘aristocrats’, noun use of optimas ‘aristocratic’, from optimus ‘best’.
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