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1. An officer in command of ten men in the army of ancient Rome.
2. A member of a municipal senate in ancient Rome that ran local government.

[Latin decuriō, from decuria, group of ten men, administrative body of ten families, from *decu-viria : decem, ten; see dekm̥ in Indo-European roots + vir, man; see wī-ro- in Indo-European roots.]
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.


(in the Roman Empire) n
1. (Historical Terms) a local councillor
2. (Military) the commander of a troop of ten cavalrymen
[C14: from Latin decuriō, from decuria company of ten, from decem ten]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(dɪˈkyʊər i ən)

1. a commander of ten men in the ancient Roman cavalry.
2. a member of an ancient Roman senate.
[1350–1400; Middle English < Latin decuriō=decuri(a) a division of ten]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
These tiers include the elite (Senators, Equestrians, Decurions), middling (Bourgeois, Agricultural), and subsistence.
Although this ordinance has been determined using the simultaneous method, in the same text, in Article 11, on discipline, also announced, 'The teacher will choose among the most assiduous, intelligent and better conduct students, some decurions who could help him in various exercises' (LEIS E REGULAMENTOS ..., 2004, p.
(1) Les officiers subalternes de ce rang servant dans les unites auxiliaires ont ete negliges, et il en va de meme des decurions. Il n'est donc pas question de traiter ici le probleme dans son ensemble; nous nous contenterons de poser des premiers jalons en etudiant le cas de l'Afrique.
"The previous three Decurions - the boss man - had mysteriously disappeared.
The Church, for instance, became responsible for the treatment of prisoners and the return of people enslaved or imprisoned abroad, while Valentinian III recruited decurions in a bid to enforce the law on tomb violations--a law for the most part disregarded by the conniving and venal governors.
And the attractiveness of Christians and their communities led some locally prominent citizens (decurions) to join the church.
First, the local form of government, with magistrates and decurions, patterned on that of the Roman Republic--the Carthaginian senate voting among other matters on the disposition of honorific statues to men of eminence like Apuleius.
The governments of classical cities had included municipal magistrates and a council, whose members were known as decurions. Since both magistrates and decurions were members of wealthy families, Rome rule had reinforced the development of local hereditary aristocracies.
These changes undermined the Empire's administration: government 'by decurions' became government by 'notables'.
Milites in Roman law belonged to the privileged segment of society, the honestiores (as distinct from the unprivileged humiliores), which also included veterans, senators, equ estrians, decurions, and certain types of judges and magistrates.