bread and circuses

(redirected from Bread and Circuses (Ancient Rome))

bread and circuses

pl.n.
Offerings, such as benefits or entertainments, intended to placate discontent or distract attention from a policy or situation.

[Translation of Latin pānem et circēnsēs, a phrase coined by the Roman poet Juvenal : pānem, accusative singular of pānis, bread + et, and + circēnsēs, circus games.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

bread′ and cir′cuses


n.pl.
something offered so as to pacify discontent or divert attention from a grievance.
[translation of Latin pānis et circēnsēs; from a remark by Juvenal on the limited desires of the Roman populace]
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