prince

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See also: prînce and Prince

English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Anglo-Norman, Old French prince, from Latin princeps (first head), from primus (first) + capere (seize, take).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

prince (plural princes)

  1. (now archaic or historical) A (male) ruler, a sovereign; a king, monarch. [from 13th c.]
    • 1603, John Florio, trans. Michel de Montaigne, Essays, I.42:
      Truely, to see our Princes all alone, sitting at their meat, beleagred round with so many talkers, whisperers, and gazing beholders, unknowne what they are or whence they come, I have often rather pittied than envied them.
    • 2009, Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity, Penguin 2010, p. 600:
      By his last years Erasmus realized that princes like Henry VIII and François I had deceived him in their elaborate negotiations for universal peace, but his belief in the potential of princely power for good remained undimmed.
    • 2009, Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall, Fourth Estate 2010, p. 411:
      If Henry does not fully trust him, is it surprising? A prince is alone: in his council chamber, in his bedchamber, and finally in Hell's antechamber, stripped – as Harry Percy said – for Judgment.
  2. (obsolete) A female monarch.
    • Camden
      Queen Elizabeth, a prince admirable above her sex.
  3. Someone who is preeminent in their field; a great person. [from 13th c.]
    He is a prince among men.
  4. The (male) ruler or head of a principality. [from 14th c.]
    • 2011, Angelique Chrisafis, The Guardian, 26 Jun 2011:
      He is the prince who never grew up – a one-time playboy and son of the Hollywood star Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco.
  5. A male member of a royal family other than the ruler; especially (in the United Kingdom) the son or grandson of the monarch. [from 14th c.]
  6. A non-royal high title of nobility, especially in France and the Holy Roman Empire.
    • Prince Louis de Broglie won the 1929 Nobel Prize in Physics.
    • 2011, Katharine Whitehorn, The Guardian, 16 Oct 2011:
      Conspiracy theories are always enticing: one I was involved with in the 50s was about Mayerling, the 19th-century Austrian scandal involving a prince’s lover who died in dodgy circumstances in a hunting lodge.
  7. A common name of the mushroom Agaricus augustus.
  8. A type of court card used in Tarot cards, the equivalent to the Jack.

Usage notes[edit]

  • A prince is usually addressed as "Your Highness". A son of a king is "His Royal Highness"; a son of an emperor is "His Imperial Highness". A sovereign prince may have a style such as "His Serene Highness".

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Translations[edit]

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External links[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French, from Latin prīnceps, prīncipem.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

prince m (plural princes)

  1. prince

Related terms[edit]

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Middle French[edit]

Noun[edit]

prince m (plural princes)

  1. prince

Old French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Latin prīncipem (accusative), prīnceps (nominative).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

prince m (oblique plural princes, nominative singular princes, nominative plural prince)

  1. prince

Old Provençal[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Latin prīncipem (accusative), prīnceps (nominative).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

prince m (oblique plural princes, nominative singular princes, nominative plural prince)

  1. prince
    • c. 1235, anonymous, Vida of Jaufre Rudel:
      Jaufres Rudels de Blaia si fo mout gentils hom, e fo princes de Blaia.
      Jaufre Rudel of Blaye was a most noble man, and was the Lord of Blaye.