9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[raw-mahn] /rɔˈmɑ̃/
noun, plural romans
[raw-mahn] /rɔˈmɑ̃/ (Show IPA).
a metrical narrative, especially in medieval French literature.
a novel.


[roh-muh n] /ˈroʊ mən/
of or relating to the ancient or modern city of Rome, or to its inhabitants and their customs and culture:
Roman restaurants.
of or relating to the ancient kingdom, republic, and empire whose capital was the city of Rome.
of a kind or character regarded as typical of the ancient Romans:
Roman virtues.
(usually lowercase) designating or pertaining to the upright style of printing types most commonly used in modern books, periodicals, etc., of which the main text of this dictionary is an example.
of or relating to the Roman Catholic Church.
noting, pertaining to, or resembling the architecture of ancient Rome, especially the public and religious architecture, characterized by the employment of massive brick and concrete construction, with such features as the semicircular arch, the dome, and groin and barrel vaults, by the use in interiors of marble and molded stucco revetments, by the elaboration of the Greek orders as purely decorative motifs for the adornment of façades and interiors, and by an overall effect in which simplicity and grandeur of massing is often combined with much elaboration of detailing.
written in or pertaining to Roman numerals.
a native, inhabitant, or citizen of ancient or modern Rome.
the dialect of Italian spoken in Rome.
(usually lowercase) roman type or lettering.
Disparaging. a member of the Roman Catholic Church.
Rare. the Latin language.
a male given name.
Origin of Roman
before 900; < Latin Rōmānus (see Rome, -an); replacing Middle English Romain < Old French < Latin, as above; replacing Old English Roman(e) < Latin, as above
Related forms
anti-Roman, adjective, noun
non-Roman, adjective, noun
post-Roman, adjective
pre-Roman, adjective, noun
pseudo-Roman, adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for roman
  • roman shades come in a variety of styles and can be fashioned from any fabric to complement any room.
  • It took a long time for the roman policier to run through all its possible variations of plot and character.
  • There are also close to a hundred other names in alphabetical order, in roman capitals.
  • However, roman painting does have important unique characteristics.
  • A roman envoy was urinated on as he was leaving the city of carthage.
  • What was burnt at a roman sacrifice would have made but a small amount of soap.
  • As a result the roman ninth legion was sent north of the humber.
  • They saw roman virtues as an important link in their multiethnic empire.
  • From the roman view, the refusal to venerate the roman emperor was political treason.
  • The holy roman emperor allowed the dynasty to rename the new property after itself.
British Dictionary definitions for roman


of, relating to, or denoting a vertical style of printing type: the usual form of type for most printed matter Compare italic
roman type or print
Word Origin
C16: so called because the style of letters is that used in ancient Roman inscriptions


/French rɔmɑ̃/
a metrical narrative in medieval French literature derived from the chansons de geste


of or relating to Rome or its inhabitants in ancient or modern times
of or relating to Roman Catholicism or the Roman Catholic Church
denoting, relating to, or having the style of architecture used by the ancient Romans, characterized by large-scale masonry domes, barrel vaults, and semicircular arches
a citizen or inhabitant of ancient or modern Rome
(informal) short for Roman Catholic
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for roman



Old English, from Latin Romanus "of Rome, Roman," from Roma "Rome" (see Rome). The adjective is c.1300, from Old French Romain. The Old English adjective was romanisc, which yielded Middle English Romanisshe.

As a type of numeral (usually contrasted to Arabic) it is attested from 1728; as a type of lettering (based on the upright style typical of Roman inscriptions, contrasted to Gothic, or black letter, and italic) it is recorded from 1510s. Roman nose is from 1620s. Roman candle as a type of fireworks is recorded from 1834. Roman Catholic is attested from c.1600, a conciliatory formation from the time of the Spanish Match, replacing Romanist, Romish which by that time had the taint of insult in Protestant England.


"a novel," 1765, from French roman, from Old French romanz (see romance (n.)); roman à clef, novel in which characters represent real persons, literally "novel with a key" (French), first attested in English 1893. And, for those who can't get enough of it, roman policier "a story of police detection" (1928).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with roman
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for roman

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for roman

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with roman

Nearby words for roman