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[sep-ter] /ˈsɛp tər/
noun, verb (used with object), sceptred, sceptring. Chiefly British


or (especially British) sceptre

[sep-ter] /ˈsɛp tər/
a rod or wand borne in the hand as an emblem of regal or imperial power.
royal or imperial power or authority; sovereignty.
verb (used with object)
to give a scepter to; invest with authority.
Origin of scepter
1250-1300; Middle English (s)ceptre < Old French < Latin scēptrum < Greek skêptron staff; akin to shaft
Related forms
scepterless, adjective
[sep-truh l] /ˈsɛp trəl/ (Show IPA),
unsceptered, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sceptre
Historical Examples
  • His cloak was embroidered with frost, and he carried a huge icicle as his sceptre.

    Tell Me Another Story Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
  • In one hand Zeus held the sceptre, and in the other a winged Victory.

  • He next surveyed the picture of the young lady,—a maiden robed in jewelled attire with pearl necklace, diadem, and sceptre.

    The Shadow of the Czar John R. Carling
  • The sceptre must pass into other hands even more feeble than his.

  • Perhaps the Earl 'bears no brother near the throne,'—if so, I will make his sceptre totter in his hands.

  • But now the sceptre seemed torn from his hand—he was a king no more.

    Olive Dinah Maria Craik, (AKA Dinah Maria Mulock)
  • For some men are born to the mill, and others to the mitre, and still others to the sceptre; but Mr. Daaken was born to the birch.

    Richard Carvel, Complete Winston Churchill
  • Gain the sceptre of Solomon, and I will agree to be your subject.

    Alroy Benjamin Disraeli
  • Nor does the Professor admit that subsequent events have restored that sceptre.

  • The legend said that none should free our people but he who bore the sceptre of great Solomon.

    Alroy Benjamin Disraeli
British Dictionary definitions for sceptre


a ceremonial staff held by a monarch as the symbol of authority
imperial authority; sovereignty
(transitive) to invest with authority
Derived Forms
sceptred, (US) sceptered, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French sceptre, from Latin scēptrum, from Greek skeptron staff
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 sceptre

chiefly British English spelling of scepter (q.v.); for spelling, see -re. Related: Sceptred.



c.1300, ceptre, from Old French sceptre (12c.), from Latin sceptrum "royal staff," from Greek skeptron "staff to lean on; royal scepter;" in transferred use, "royalty," from root of skeptein "to prop or stay, lean on." Apparently a cognate with Old English sceaft (see shaft (n.1)). The verb meaning "to furnish with a scepter" is from 1520s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sceptre in Technology

Designing and analysing circuits.
["SCEPTRE: A Computer Program for Circuit and Systems Analysis", J.C. Bowers et al, P-H 1971].

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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sceptre in the Bible

(Heb. shebet = Gr. skeptron), properly a staff or rod. As a symbol of authority, the use of the sceptre originated in the idea that the ruler was as a shepherd of his people (Gen. 49:10; Num. 24:17; Ps. 45:6; Isa. 14:5). There is no example on record of a sceptre having ever been actually handled by a Jewish king.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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