Word of the DayTuesday, September 19, 2000
\gran-DEE\ , noun;
A man of elevated rank or station.
In Spain or Portugal, a nobleman of the first rank.
Jack Byron still harbored delusions of being a local grandee, attempting to influence district politics; as the final humiliation, in the parliamentary election of 1786 his vote was disallowed.
-- Benita Eisler, Byron: Child of Passion, Fool of Fame
Like Bellow, he is at once a snob and a democrat, a voracious brain and a churning gut, a seminar-room grandee and a barroom brawler.
-- A. O. Scott, "Trans-Atlantic Flights", New York Times, January 31, 1999
Seduced by his need to live like a grandee, Coppola can't afford not to work within the system.
-- Joseph McBride, "Offers He Should've Refused", New York Times, December 12, 1999
Grandee comes from Spanish grande, from Latin grandis, "great, large, hence important, grand." Related words include grandeur, "the state or quality of being grand"; grandiose, "characterized by affectation of grandeur"; aggrandize, "to make great or greater"; and, of course, grand.
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