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[lik-ter] /ˈlɪk tər/
(in ancient Rome) one of a body of attendants on chief magistrates, who preceded them carrying the fasces and whose duties included executing the sentences of criminals.
1580-90; < Latin; compare Middle English littoures
Related forms
[lik-tawr-ee-uh n, -tohr-] /lɪkˈtɔr i ən, -ˈtoʊr-/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for lictor


one of a group of ancient Roman officials, usually bearing fasces, who attended magistrates, etc
Word Origin
C16 lictor, C14 littour, from Latin ligāre to bind
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for lictor

late 14c., from Latin lictor, literally "binder," from past participle stem of *ligere "to bind, collect," collateral form of ligare (see ligament).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for lictor

member of an ancient Roman class of magisterial attendants, probably Etruscan in origin and dating in Rome from the regal period. Lictors carried the fasces for their magistrate and were constantly in his attendance in public; they cleared his way in crowds and summoned and punished offenders for him. They also served as their magistrate's house guard. In Rome the lictors wore togas; during a consul's triumph or while outside Rome they wore scarlet coats

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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