1. The one of highest rank; one holding the highest place and authority; a sovereign; a monarch; originally applied to either sex, but now rarely applied to a female. "Go, Michael, of celestial armies prince." (Milton) "Queen Elizabeth, a prince admirable above her sex." (Camden)
3. A title belonging to persons of high rank, differing in different countries. In England it belongs to dukes, marquises, and earls, but is given to members of the royal family only. In Italy a prince is inferior to a duke as a member of a particular order of nobility; in Spain he is always one of the royal family.
4. The chief of any body of men; one at the head of a class or profession; one who is preeminent; as, a merchant prince; a prince of players. "The prince of learning." Prince-Albert coat, a long double-breasted frock coat for men. Prince of the blood, Prince consort, Prince of darkness. See Blood, Consort, and Darkness. Prince of Wales, the oldest son of the English sovereign.
Origin: F, from L. Princeps, -cipis, the first, chief; primus first + capere to take. See Prime, and Capacious.
(01 Mar 1998)
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