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Anglo-Norman majesté, magestee, maisté, Old French, Middle French magesté (earlier maesté, maisté, majeté, majestet; French majesté) < classical Latin miests (in post-classical Latin frequently also magestas) < the base of maior MAJOR

For lessons on the related topic of Greatness, follow this link.


Greatness, dignity, power

  • 1. a. Christian Church. The greatness and glory of God.
b. The dignity or greatness of a monarch; sovereign power, sovereignty. Also: the person or personality of a monarch.
c. gen. Dignity, greatness, grandeur; supreme power, authority.
d. Christian Church. Eternal glory. Obs.
e. Roman Hist. The sovereign power and dignity of the Roman people, esp. considered with reference to offences against it. Cf. LESE-MAJESTY n. Obs.
  • 2. Preceded by a possessive (your, his, her, the king's, the queen's); sometimes with a modifying adjective, as (most) sacred, gracious, royal, etc.: an honorific title given to a king, queen, emperor, or empress.
  • 3. The external magnificence befitting a monarch.
  • 4. a. Kingly or queenly dignity of look, bearing, or appearance; impressive stateliness of aspect or demeanour. Also fig.
b. Of natural objects, buildings, etc.

Extended uses applied to things

  • 7. A canopy supported on a framework (a hearse) over a bier or coffin in a church. Obs.
  • 8. Heraldry. eagle in her majesty n. a representation of a crowned eagle holding in its talons a symbol of sovereign power, esp. a sceptre or orb. Obs.