One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An ornamented staff carried by rulers on ceremonial occasions as a symbol of sovereignty.
baton, stick, staff, pole, bar, dowel, rod, stakeView synonyms
- ‘The roof is ornamented with three cherubs, representing England, Scotland and Ireland, supporting the royal crown and holding the sceptre, sword of state and ensign of knighthood.’
- ‘In her left hand she carries the sceptre of state; in her right the orb.’
- ‘Room after room of the Armoury reveals incredible riches, including the imperial crown, mace and sceptre of the Tsars.’
- ‘As an act of humility, before a mass to which she had invited the poor, she gave the royal scepter to the most indigent and had the royal crown placed on his head.’
- ‘Each was swathed in robes of black, and all carried the sceptre that befitted their station.’
Middle English: from Old French ceptre, via Latin from Greek skēptron, from skēptein (alteration of skēptesthai) ‘lean on’.
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