palatine

In ancient Rome, a palatine was a powerful authority figure. Through the 17th century, European palatines were nobles who inherited land and ruled over it separately from the greater kingdom.

This word stems from the Medieval Latin palatinus, "of the palace," and in the ancient Roman world, someone working in a prince's palace was described as comes palatinus, or "possessing royal privileges." Through history, being a palatine meant having an enormous amount of power over a specific territory. Today the word is also used as an adjective meaning "connected to the palate of the mouth."

Definitions of palatine
  1. noun
    any of various important officials in ancient Rome
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    type of:
    Roman
    an inhabitant of the ancient Roman Empire
  2. noun
    (Middle Ages) the lord of a palatinate who exercised sovereign powers over his lands
    synonyms: palsgrave
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    type of:
    Lord, noble, nobleman
    a titled peer of the realm
  3. adjective
    of or relating to a count palatine and his royal prerogatives
  4. adjective
    of or relating to a palace
  5. adjective
    relating to or lying near the palate
    “the palatine tonsils”
    synonyms: palatal
  6. noun
    either of two irregularly shaped bones that form the back of the hard palate and helps to form the nasal cavity and the floor of the orbits
    synonyms: os palatinum, palatine bone
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    type of:
    bone, os
    rigid connective tissue that makes up the skeleton of vertebrates
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