See also: prînce and Prince

English

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Etymology

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From Middle English prince, from Anglo-Norman prince, from Latin prīnceps (first head), from prīmus (first) +‎ capiō (seize, take). Cognate with Old English fruma (prince, ruler). Doublet of princeps.

Displaced native Middle English atheling, from Old English æþeling; Middle English kinebarn, from Old English cynebearn; Middle English alder, from Old English ealdor; and Middle English drighten, from Old English dryhten.

Pronunciation

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Noun

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prince (plural princes)

  1. (now archaic or historical) A (male) ruler, a sovereign; a king, monarch. [from 13th c.]
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 42, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes [], book I, London: [] Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount [], →OCLC:
      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, published 2010, page 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, published 2010, page 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.
    • 1605, M. N. [pseudonym; William Camden], Remaines of a Greater Worke, Concerning Britaine, [], London: [] G[eorge] E[ld] for Simon Waterson, →OCLC:
      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 June 26, Angelique Chrisafis, The Guardian:
      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 October 16, Katharine Whitehorn, The Guardian:
      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 type of court card used in tarot cards, the equivalent of the jack.
  8. The mushroom Agaricus augustus.
  9. Any of various nymphalid butterflies of the genus Rohana.

Usage notes

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  • The female equivalent is princess.
  • 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".

Hypernyms

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Coordinate terms

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Derived terms

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Translations

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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb

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prince (third-person singular simple present princes, present participle princing, simple past and past participle princed)

  1. (intransitive, rare, often followed by dummy subject it) To behave or act like a prince.
    • 1611 April (first recorded performance), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Cymbeline”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene iii], page 382, column 1:
      The Roofes of Palaces, and Nature prompts them / In ſimple and lowe things, to Prince it, much / Beyond the tricke of others.
  2. (transitive, rare) To transform (someone) into a prince.
    • 2005 March 30, abe slaney, “Question re John Lennon's Death”, in rec.music.beatles[1] (Usenet):
      All I could remember is the chorus, and something about pumpkins turning into princesses (???!) and frogs turning into princes. I figured she meant the frog was John before she princed him.

References

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Further reading

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Anagrams

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French

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Etymology

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Inherited from Middle French prince, from Old French prince, a semi-learned borrowing from Latin prīnceps.

Pronunciation

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Noun

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prince m (plural princes)

  1. prince

Derived terms

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Descendants

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Further reading

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Anagrams

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Middle French

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Etymology

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From Old French prince.

Pronunciation

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  This entry needs pronunciation information. If you are familiar with the IPA then please add some!

Noun

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prince m (plural princes)

  1. prince

Descendants

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Old French

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Etymology

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Semi-learned borrowing from Latin prīnceps.

Pronunciation

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  • (classical) IPA(key): /ˈpɾint͡sə/
  • (late) IPA(key): /ˈpɾinsə/

Noun

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

  1. prince

Old Occitan

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Etymology

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From Latin prīnceps, possibly a borrowing.

Pronunciation

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Noun

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

  1. prince
    • c. 1235, anonymous author, 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.
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)

Walloon

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Pronunciation

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Noun

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prince m (plural princes, feminine princesse, feminine plural princesses)

  1. prince