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n. pl. de·cem·virs or de·cem·vi·ri (-və-rī′)
1. One of a body of ten Roman magistrates, especially a member of one of two such bodies appointed in 451 and 450 bc to draw up a code of laws.
2. One of an authoritative body of ten.

[Middle English, from Latin, sing. of decemvirī, commission of ten men : decem, ten; see dekm̥ in Indo-European roots + virī, pl. of vir, man; see wī-ro- in Indo-European roots.]

de·cem′vi·ral adj.
de·cem′vi·rate (-vər-ĭt, -və-rāt′) n.


n, pl -virs or -viri (-vɪˌriː)
1. (Historical Terms) (in ancient Rome) a member of a board of ten magistrates, esp either of the two commissions established in 451 and 450 bc to revise the laws
2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a member of any governing body composed of ten men
[C17: from Latin, from decem ten + virī men]
deˈcemviral adj


(dɪˈsɛm vər)

n., pl. -virs, -vi•ri (-vəˌraɪ)
1. a member of any of several permanent boards or special commissions of ten members in ancient Rome, as the commission that drew up a code of laws 451-450 b.c.
2. a member of any council body of ten.
[1570–80; < Latin, orig. pl. decemvirī=decem ten + virī men]
de•cem′vi•ral, adj.
de•cem′vi•rate (-vər ɪt, -vəˌreɪt) n.


 a body of ten men acting as a commission, 1579.
References in classic literature ?
You must except, nevertheless, Marcus Antonius, the half partner of the empire of Rome, and Appius Claudius, the decemvir and lawgiver; whereof the former was indeed a voluptuous man, and inordinate; but the latter was an austere and wise man: and therefore it seems (though rarely) that love can find entrance, not only into an open heart, but also into a heart well fortified, if watch be not well kept.
The Decemvirs of Rome, whose name denotes their number,[3] were more to be dreaded in their usurpation than any ONE of them would have been.
to save his daughter from the decemvir Appius Claudius.
Plinio, siendo un hombre honesto y moderado, fue ascendiendo por el cursus honorum (cargos administrativos civiles y militares de la Republica aunque haya vivio durante el principado), fue flamen Divi Augusti (sacerdote del culto al Emperador) en 81, luego decemvir litibus iudicandis (algo equiparable a un juez de lo civil), tribuno militar en Siria (donde conocio a los filosofos Artemidor y Eufrates), sevir equitum Romanorum (jefe de un escuadron de caballeria) en 84, quaestor imperatoris y questor urbano entre 89 y 90.