• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Decemvir A member of any body of ten men in authority.
    • Decemvir One of a body of ten magistrates in ancient Rome.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n decemvir One of the ten men, or decemviri, the title of four differently constituted bodies in ancient Rome. A body of magistrates elected in 451 b. c. for one year to prepare a system of written laws (decemviri legibus scribendis), with absolute powers of government, and succeeded by another for a second year, who ruled tyrannically under their leader Appius Claudius, and aimed to perpetuate their power, but were overthrown in 449. The decemvirs of the first year completed ten, and those of the second year the remaining two, of the celebrated twelve tables, forming both a political constitution and a legal code.
    • n decemvir By extension, one of any official body of men, ten in number. as the old Council of Ten in Venice.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Decemvir de-sem′vir one of ten magistrates who at one time had absolute power in ancient Rome
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L., fr. decem, ten + vir, a man
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. decem, ten, and vir, a man.


In literature:

Pliny calls him the Interpreter of the Decemvirs, which may lead us to suppose that he labored with them in drawing up that law.
"The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume 4" by Edward Gibbon
The rigor of the decemvirs was tempered by the equity of the praetors.
"The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume 4" by Edward Gibbon
Robespierre and his decemvirs rejoiced, and sixty persons had cause to rejoice with them.
"The Elusive Pimpernel" by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
In 450 ten specially elected magistrates, the decemvirs, made a series of laws that they wrote on twelve tables of stone.
"History Of Ancient Civilization" by Charles Seignobos
This government was based upon the old municipal organisation of duumvirs and decemvirs.
"Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete" by John Symonds
"A Smaller History of Rome" by William Smith and Eugene Lawrence
The expectation of this, as the day of election approached, created a desire to appoint decemvirs again.
"The History of Rome, Books 01 to 08" by Titus Livius
On the whole we may put the great period of the college between the decemvirate and the war with Hannibal.
"The Religious Experience of the Roman People" by W. Warde Fowler
We gain a step in knowledge, and I look Forward to be one day of the decemvirs.
"The Works of Lord Byron" by Lord Byron
But the name of the decemvir still carries terror with it, and the commons waver at the sound.
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 379, May, 1847" by Various