Definition of duumvir in US English:



  • (in ancient Rome) each of two magistrates or officials holding a joint office.

    • ‘Son of a duumvir, he attended university in Carthage, Athens, and Rome and studied, amongst other subjects, Platonic philosophy and Latin oratory.’
    • ‘He had risen through the bureaucracy of Naples as municipal quaestor, aedile, duumvir.’
    • ‘As the city's prefects, the duumvirs are jointly responsible for the protection of the city, the criminal court and the general good order.’
    • ‘Paul cast out the spirit; and her owners brought him and Silas before the magistrates, the duumvirs, who inflicted summary chastisement, never imagining they were Romans.’
    • ‘The inscription across the front attests that two duumvirs, Flaccus and Caledus, ‘caused the measures to be made equal’ to the new requirements.’
    • ‘The board of magistrates consisted of two duumvirs, two aediles - they were in charge of public buildings, streets, markets, etc. and two quaestors - treasury officers.’
    • ‘Apuleius's father held the office of duumvir, the highest magisterial position in Madaura; after his father's death Apuleius rose to duumvir himself, and inherited part of the sum of nearly two million sesterces his father bequeathed to his two sons.’
    • ‘The most common are vacuum and continuum; the less common ones are menstruum, residuum, triduum, and the distinctly rare duumvir and duumvirate.’
    • ‘According to tradition, it was vowed in 499 B.C. by the dictator Postumius, when the Dioscuri appeared on this spot after the battle of Lake Regillus, and dedicated in 484 by the son of the dictator who was appointed duumvir for this purpose.’
    • ‘It was built by the duumvir (one of the two top local officials) Marcus Tullius at his expense in honour of the Emperor Augustus.’
    • ‘There is no mention of any veto power, and the officials are duumvirs, aediles, augurs, and priests.’
    • ‘Volubilis, which seems to have aided the Roman side, was elevated to the rank of municipium, governed no longer by suffetes but by duumvirs, or annual magistrates.’
    • ‘He uses a well-known example from Puteoli in Italy where the duumvirs ordered the construction of a wall and a gate from a private entrepreneur in the year 105 BC.’


Latin, from duum virum ‘of the two men’.