Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A staff held by a sovereign as an emblem of authority.
  • n. Ruling power or authority; sovereignty.
  • transitive v. To invest with royal authority.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. an ornamental staff held by a ruling monarch as a symbol of power
  • v. To give a scepter to.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A staff or baton borne by a sovereign, as a ceremonial badge or emblem of authority; a royal mace.
  • n. Hence, royal or imperial power or authority; sovereignty.
  • transitive v. To endow with the scepter, or emblem of authority; to invest with royal authority.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A staff of office of the character accepted as peculiar to royalty or independent sovereignty.
  • n.
  • n. Royal power or authority: as, to assume the scepter.
  • To give a scepter to; invest with royal authority, or with the emblem of authority.
  • n. A common name for the gold sovereign of James I. of England.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a ceremonial or emblematic staff
  • n. the imperial authority symbolized by a scepter

Etymologies

Middle English sceptre, from Old French, from Latin scēptrum, from Greek skēptron.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old French sceptre, from Latin sceptrum, from Ancient Greek σκήπτρον (skeptron) "staff, stick, baton", from σκήπτω (skepto) "to prop, to support, to lean upon a staff" (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • “I thought your scepter was the strongest, your highness.”

    The Three Furies

  • Orm blasts them both with his scepter, which is powered with some sort of neural blaster, temporarily paralyzing both our heroes.

    Archive 2009-01-01

  • "These artifacts clearly belonged to the emperor, especially the scepter, which is very elaborated, it's not an item you would let someone else have," Clementina Panella, the archaeologist who made the discovery, said Friday.

    Archive 2006-12-01

  • It is a sign of law and order, just as the scepter is the sign of royalty and rule.

    An Island Story: A History of England for Boys and Girls

  • "A kinglet without a scepter is a flibberjig, and I'll be black and blue by to-morrow morning!"

    John Dough And The Cherub

  • A scepter is a kind of staff borne by kings as an emblem of their authority.

    Life and Labors of Elder John Kline the Martyr Missionary

  • She wore the whitest cotton cap with the broadest of ruffles; she was very black and very portly; and her scepter was a good-sized stick, kept to chastise small dogs and children who invaded her territory.

    A girl's life in Virginia before the war,

  • Compare as to a similar scourge of unsparing trial, Job 9: 23. it shall be no more -- the scepter, that is, the state, must necessarily then come to an end.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

  • A curt response was issued by Valentinian III, who pointed out that it was not within Honoria’s power to receive the so-called scepter, since the rule of the Roman Empire belonged not to women but to men.

    Caesars’ Wives

  • Erec wasn’t sure whether to refer to the scepter as his or his father’s.

    The Three Furies

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