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[dih-sem-ver] /dɪˈsɛm vər/
noun, plural decemvirs, decemviri
[dih-sem-vuh-rahy] /dɪˈsɛm vəˌraɪ/ (Show IPA)
a member of a permanent board or a special commission of ten members in ancient Rome, especially the commission that drew up Rome's first code of law.
a member of any council or ruling body of ten.
Origin of decemvir
1570-80; < Latin, orig. plural decemvirī, equivalent to decem ten + virī men
Related forms
decemviral, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for decemvir


noun (pl) -virs, -viri (-vɪˌriː)
(in ancient Rome) a member of a board of ten magistrates, esp either of the two commissions established in 451 and 450 bc to revise the laws
a member of any governing body composed of ten men
Derived Forms
decemviral, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin, from decem ten + virī men
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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