Definition of patrician in US English:

patrician

noun

  • 1An aristocrat or nobleman.

    • ‘Ideology justifies the rule of each ruling class, whether as chieftains, patricians, landowners, or those with capital, the bourgeoisie.’
    • ‘Power, he fastidiously believed, ought simply to be handed to patricians like himself.’
    • ‘The churches, convents, and all the dwellings of the former patricians were in ruins.’
    • ‘Now there, he thought, was the face and bearing of a true patrician.’
    • ‘Long after the autumn of 1880, far more plebeians than patricians experienced the pain of this communal punishment.’
    • ‘Is it Coriolanus, or instead those who surround him, the plebeians, the patricians?’
    • ‘In 1561 Francesco expanded on this concept by noting that young Venetian patricians were destined to mature into grave senators.’
    • ‘Well-to-do patricians were the usual patrons on the exclusive courses in England and America, partly because equipment was so expensive, but also due to the rigid caste system.’
    • ‘But the bulk of it was sold off to the rich patricians who had made fortunes from war and provincial administration.’
    • ‘They tended to be quite popular with the plebeians, though the patricians were known to get very jealous.’
    • ‘But we do not have to go to such extremes - in either cost or category - to prove that patricians love posing as plebeians.’
    • ‘During the year 1770 Charles Burney was travelling in Italy and when he was in Venice he wrote on 12 August that he attended a concert in the house of the patrician, Signor Grimani.’
    • ‘Then he turned back to the rich young patricians who were all laughing at her expense.’
    • ‘Or that the patricians (like you) still think the plebeians didn't understand the treaty.’
    • ‘Sharp divisions are established by law between patricians and plebeians.’
    • ‘He brushed some imaginary lint off of his sleeve, and assumed the pose of a bored patrician.’
    • ‘The children in Chardin's paintings are not little patricians but youngsters from his personal circle of craftsmen and small traders.’
    • ‘Both patricians and guildmen sought to defend their position and, like the nobles, they tried to do so both by self-regulation and by privileges.’
    • ‘What are her obligations as the last of the patricians?’
    • ‘In 1981, he became the country's fourth prime minister, but the first commoner after a trio of blue-blooded patricians.’
    aristocrat, grandee, noble, nobleman, noblewoman, lord, lady, peer, peeress, peer of the realm, titled man, titled person, titled woman, landowner
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    1. 1.1North American A member of a long-established wealthy family.
      • ‘Like so many other young British patricians, he was saved from becoming a complete emotional cripple by a tenderhearted nanny.’
      • ‘He's a wealthy patrician, but he does have an impressive record of military service.’
      • ‘The patricians entrusted with Yale University's future knew it was time to swing into action.’
      • ‘He has tried to break his image as a cold patrician from New England.’
      • ‘Unlike many Virginia patricians of his time, he was able both to live elegantly and to preserve his property.’
    2. 1.2 A member of a noble family or class in ancient Rome.
      • ‘Montague has learned from Beckett; in both there is the iron resignation and sadness of a Roman patrician, a Cicero, or, better perhaps, a Seneca.’
      • ‘Villa owners, that is, former Roman patricians, were forced to settle their slaves on their own estates.’
      • ‘Still others sold their votes to wealthy patricians, thus giving up one of the key features of their citizenship.’
      • ‘Over Roman armour, he wears, strangely, the robe of a quattrocento patrician, frequently used in depictions of Florentine poets and men of letters.’
      • ‘This was established early in the conflict between patricians and plebeians.’
      • ‘A patrician could serve as tribune, though this was not common.’
      • ‘The intention was to recreate the environment of the patricians of ancient Rome and to celebrate agrarian, pastoral, Christian, and cultured life.’
      • ‘Between 500 and 300 B.C., there developed within the body of the citizenry, a division between two social groups or classes: patricians and plebeians.’
      • ‘A Roman patrician's pride and joy was his vegetables.’
      • ‘In ancient Roman society it was represented by the patricians.’
      • ‘Another very common form of interaction between socially disproportionate individuals was that between Roman patricians and their freedmen.’
      • ‘Head and shoulders above the other players stood Julius Caesar, a patrician who regarded glory as his birthright.’
      • ‘Indeed, the celebrated ancient chronicler Plinius wrote: In Istra, the Roman patricians feel like gods!’
      • ‘The Romans also gave us the expression ‘plebs’, since Roman citizens were categorised either as patricians or plebeians.’
      • ‘Coriolanus charts the destructive contest between a vain aristocratic soldier and the self-seeking patricians who claim to represent the masses.’
      • ‘Oppressed, as they thought, by the patricians, the plebeians in a body walked out of Rome and set themselves up on a neighbouring hill.’
      • ‘Between 486 and 511, Clovis conquered a few provinces still ruled by Roman patricians.’

adjective

  • 1Belonging to or characteristic of the aristocracy.

    ‘a proud, patrician face’
    • ‘The bourgeois or patrician oligarchies found it easier to defend their privileges.’
    • ‘And her patrician demeanour bespeaks her standing in the sport over which she has reigned supreme for a period spanning three Olympics.’
    • ‘But that is a fault of the patrician government.’
    • ‘Dressed in a well-cut navy blazer, cashmere turtleneck and charcoal trousers, he cuts a patrician figure as he orders a pot of tea in the Merrion hotel.’
    • ‘The Splendido, a former monastery and later a patrician villa, soon became what it is today: one of Europe's most exclusive, and expensive, hotels.’
    • ‘Municipal reform might well replace a patrician oligarchy of local gentry and merchants, weakening collective action and undermining the corporate, civic culture.’
    • ‘His straight, patrician nose simply added to the resolute, aristocratic aura surrounding him.’
    • ‘Mary, smiling, reads a prayer-book, akin to the one she appears in, with patrician composure.’
    • ‘With his patrician ancestry, going back to the Puritans on his mother's side, he acts as though he is born to rule.’
    • ‘This tone of slight snobbishness, a patrician aversion to vulgar middle-class prejudice, is typical of the book.’
    • ‘Some were seated with patrician affability at windows with dramatic swagged curtains.’
    • ‘Venetian patrician society not only tolerated but flaunted courtesans, who star in some of the best Venetian paintings.’
    • ‘The latter was of patrician birth and a political hostess.’
    • ‘As industrial employment declined, the luxury of patrician landowners living from landed income maintained the demand for urban services.’
    • ‘Access to furniture was more widespread among the ancient Greeks, whose patrician classes demanded a refined type of chair called the klismos.’
    • ‘The patrician elite who financed and directed the institution saw its mission as the eradication of class conflict.’
    • ‘On this occasion, he spoke of the function and importance of art in Hamburg's public realm to an audience of patrician elite.’
    • ‘We see he's not a god or an angel, but an ordinary man - a handsome, patrician Englishman to be sure, but mortal.’
    • ‘These are studies of sunlight on the shimmering white summer dresses worn by patrician women and children around the turn of the twentieth century.’
    • ‘We may remember that at about the same time over 70 per cent of patrician women in Venice were nuns.’
    aristocratic, noble, noble-born, of noble birth, titled, blue-blooded, high-born, well born, upper-class, elite, landowning, landed, born with a silver spoon in one's mouth
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    1. 1.1North American Belonging to or characteristic of a long-established and wealthy family.
      • ‘If I had to draw a parallel I would say they are like the patrician families of the reconstruction American South, trying to maintain their historic dominance after the end of slavery.’
      • ‘New Englanders despised New Yorkers who reciprocated the sentiment, and neither felt much affinity for the patrician Virginians or the farmers of the Carolinas and Georgia.’
      • ‘In the 1860s a few patrician merchants' wives subscribed independently on guarantee lists of the German opera.’
      • ‘The major department stores, while one might be a bit trendier and another a bit more patrician, all sell pretty much the same stuff.’
      • ‘Was last night as close as the upstart governor will ever get to beating the patrician Senator?’
      • ‘Perhaps it was from this socially secure family that Reynold received his patrician ease, his apparent freedom from self-doubt, and his refined aesthetic sense.’
      • ‘In the late nineteenth century, patrician historians produced hundreds of books, prints, lectures, classes, and tours about an imagined colonial city known as Old New York.’
    2. 1.2 Belonging to the nobility of ancient Rome.
      • ‘Wealthy plebeians were assimilated into the patrician class.’
      • ‘A Roman woman of patrician dress and bearing stood in the doorway, accompanied by two soldiers draped in civilian clothes.’
      • ‘Born in 100 BC of a leading patrician family, Caesar rose to be consul in 59 BC.’
      • ‘Rising dowries also impinged on patrician men, forcing almost half of them to remain unmarried during the fifteenth century.’
      • ‘She became the idol of patrician society of Rome.’
      • ‘Make time for Rome's patrician galleries - private collections of the great princes, in many cases still right in the family palace where they were first hung.’
      • ‘To become consul, Coriolanus has to gain the support of both the patrician senate and the Roman people.’
      • ‘This was the era of patrician history, when scholars followed the great classical historians in holding up to posterity examples of errors, failings, and laudable deeds.’
      • ‘In ancient Rome clients were plebeians who were bound in a subservient relationship with their patrician patron.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French patricien, from Latin patricius ‘having a noble father’, from pater, patr- ‘father’.

Pronunciation

patrician

/pəˈtrɪʃən//pəˈtriSHən/