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[gran-dee] /grænˈdi/
a man of high social position or eminence, especially a Spanish or Portuguese nobleman.
Origin of grandee
1590-1600; < Spanish, Portuguese grande, with ending assimilated to -ee
Related forms
grandeeship, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for grandee
Historical Examples
  • Besides, I am not such a grandee that I need look for high lineage in the wife of my choice.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • The centenarian accepted with the air of a grandee, and extended his horn snuff-box.

    The Octopus Frank Norris
  • Good-day, sir, said Pilarica, who knew no reason why one should not be as polite to a goatherd as to a grandee.

  • The highest privilege of a grandee is that of covering his head before the king.

    Letters from Spain Joseph Blanco White
  • Descended from a mercantile family enriched by the wars of the eighteenth century, he was ennobled and made a grandee of Spain.

  • Can you prove yourself worthy of the daughter of a Spanish hidalgo and grandee?

    The Wolf Cub Patrick Casey
  • Her butchers, bakers, and market-people paid her as much respect as though she had been a grandee's housekeeper out of Kemp Town.

    The Newcomes William Makepeace Thackeray
  • He wanted to take the serape of the grandee and swaddle him in it.

  • The grandee, thinking it an uncommonly fine fish, made a present of it to the King, who ordered it to be dressed immediately.

  • The Duke of Plaza-Toro was studied from an old print of a grandee.

    The Secrets of a Savoyard Henry A. Lytton
British Dictionary definitions for grandee


a Spanish or Portuguese prince or nobleman of the highest rank
a man of great rank or eminence
Derived Forms
grandeeship, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Spanish grande
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
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Word Origin and History for grandee

1590s, from Spanish grande "nobleman of the first rank," originally an adjective, "great," from Latin grandis "big, great" (see grand (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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