Meaning of Augustan in English:


Pronunciation /ɔːˈɡʌst(ə)n/

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  • 1Connected with or occurring during the reign of the Roman emperor Augustus.

    ‘a Roman villa of the Augustan period’
    • ‘The excavated area open to the public covers the forum, dated to the Augustan period.’
    • ‘Hence by the Augustan period the term murmillo replaced the old term samnis, designating a people south of Rome who had long since been subjugated by the Romans and absorbed into their culture.’
    • ‘One model can be seen in exhibition catalogues on Italy during the middle Republic, on the relationship between the Republic and the Augustan period, or on late antiquity in the city of Rome.’
    • ‘By the end of Constantine's rule, all of the Augustan foundations of the Empire had changed profoundly.’
    • ‘The toughening of the Augustan regime and the fading influence of the mediating Maecenas was having its effect.’
    • ‘The triumphs of the Augustan arts had been the triumphs of an elite, intended primarily for the consumption of an elite.’
    • ‘Competition for notice spilled over into the Augustan period as individuals commissioned new and novel types of attention-commanding funerary monuments.’
    • ‘Work in recent years on Augustan fortresses in Germany, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, dating to the end of the 1st century BC and the beginning of the 1st century AD, suggest how this might have happened.’
    • ‘The Neapolitan coastal resort of Baiae was favoured by rich Romans in Augustan times, although their marble villas were later overturned by an earthquake.’
    • ‘The Forum Augusti and the Ara Pacis, however, are different monuments with different purposes; it would be simplistic to expect that all Augustan buildings repeat the same message.’
    1. 1.1Relating to or denoting Latin literature of the reign of Augustus, including the works of Virgil, Horace, Ovid, and Livy.
      ‘There is almost no rhetorical verse of the kind we find in Augustan Latin and later in Renaissance poetry throughout Europe.’
      • ‘The images and language are often startling but nevertheless forthright, and Horace, more than any other Augustan poet, employed the spoken or prose language rather than poetic register.’
      • ‘Ovid's strategic silence is designed for an audience familiar with the contextualization of the Marsyas figure in the Augustan world.’
      • ‘Later the personal, sometimes satirical poetry of the Augustan period is full of information on food and dining among the élite.’
      • ‘Although several literary sources for the sacrifice of Aeneas belong to the Augustan period, the story was well known at least from the late Republic.’
    2. 1.2Relating to or denoting 17th- and 18th-century English literature of a style considered refined and classical, including the works of Pope, Addison, and Swift.
      ‘poets of the Augustan age’
      • ‘Translation was central to the Augustan programme to classicize English literary culture.’
      • ‘History, Science, and Satire in Augustan England and The Battle of the Books: History and Literature in the Augustan Age.’
      • ‘Samuel Johnson, however, found that he could not compile the kind of dictionary hoped for, and with the independence of the US a resistance to Augustan norms developed outside Britain.’
      • ‘The satires are both ‘a passionate expression of anger against man's ineptitude and ultimately a triumph of Augustan order over individualism’ .’
      • ‘The first part has five essays on various aspects of Dryden's works: theatrical imagination, satire, ‘imperial imagination’, Augustan culture and Dryden's role in creating it, and his mastery of triplets.’
      • ‘Restoration and Augustan poetry reign here, providing Brown's primary locus of interpretation and exemplum of cultural fable.’
      simple, pure, restrained, plain, austere


  • A writer of the (Latin or English) Augustan period or style.

    ‘The writers of formal odes, Marvell and Dryden in particular, are also indebted to him and the critical writings of Dryden and the Augustans plainly reveal the influence of his Ars Poetica.’
    • ‘Darwin is a transitional figure between neo-classicism and Romanticism, breaking through ‘the invisible barrier between the Augustans and the Romantics.’
    • ‘For the Augustans, literary translation was both important and possible because the established codes of decorum remained sufficiently in force to subsume what were thought to be the most pleasurable aspects of style.’


From Latin Augustanus ‘relating to Augustus’ (see Augustus).