realNEO Words of the Day: Blue Blood [bloo bluhd] - pa·tri·cian [puh-trish-uhn]

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 09/20/2010 - 08:17.

Definition of special note:

Patrician - adjective: 7. befitting persons of very good background, education, and refinement... as in:

PATRICIAN POLITICIAL CORRUPTION ONLY REALLY ENRICHES BLUE BLOODS

blue blood [bloo bluhd]
–noun
1. an aristocrat, noble, or member of a socially prominent family.
2. aristocratic, noble, or socially prominent lineage or relatives: They boasted a lineage of pure blue blood.

Origin:
1825–35;  trans. of Sp sangre azul. See sanguine, azure

— n
    royal or aristocratic descent
 
[C19: translation of Spanish sangre azul ]
 
'blue-'blooded
 
— adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009

Word Origin & History

blue blood

1834, translating Sp. sangre azul,  claimed by certain families of Castile as uncontaminated by Moorish or Jewish admixture, probably from the notion of the visible veins of people of fair complexion.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pa·tri·cian
  [puh-trish-uhn]
–noun
1. a person of noble or high rank; aristocrat.
2. a person of very good background, education, and refinement.
3. a member of the original senatorial aristocracy in ancient Rome.
4. (under the later Roman and Byzantine empires) a title or dignity conferred by the emperor.
5. a member of a hereditary ruling class in certain medieval German, Swiss, and Italian free cities.
–adjective
6. of high social rank or noble family; aristocratic.
7. befitting or characteristic of persons of very good background, education, and refinement: patrician tastes.
8. of or belonging to the patrician families of ancient Rome.

Origin:
1400–50;  < L patrici ( us ) patrician ( pat ( e ) r  FATHER + -icius  adj. suffix) + -AN; r. late ME patricion  < OF patricien

—Related forms
pa·tri·cian·hood, pa·tri·cian·ship, noun
pa·tri·cian·ism, noun
pa·tri·cian·ly, adverb
pre·pa·tri·cian, adjective
un·pa·tri·cian, adjective

—Synonyms
7.  dignified, genteel, stately.

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2010.
 
— n
1.     Compare plebs a member of the hereditary aristocracy of ancient Rome. In the early republic the patricians held almost all the higher offices
2.     a high nonhereditary title awarded by Constantine and his eastern Roman successors for services to the empire
3.     in medieval Europe
     a. a title borne by numerous princes including several emperors from the 8th to the 12th centuries
     b. a member of the upper class in numerous Italian republics and German free cities
4.     an aristocrat
5.     a person of refined conduct, tastes, etc
 
— adj
6.     (esp in ancient Rome) of, relating to, or composed of patricians
7.     aristocratic
8.     oligarchic and often antidemocratic or nonpopular: patrician political views
 
[C15: from Old French patricien,  from Latin patricius  noble, from pater  father]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009

Word Origin & History

patrician
early 15c., "member of the ancient Roman noble order," from M.Fr. patricien , from L. patricius  "of the rank of the nobles, of the senators," from patres conscripti  "Roman senators," lit. "fathers," pl. of pater  "father." Contrasted, in ancient Rome, with plebeius . Applied to noble citizens and higher orders of free folk in medieval It. and Ger. cities (sense attested in English from 1610s); hence "nobleman, aristocrat" in a modern sense (1630s). As an adjective, attested from 1610s, from the noun.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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