Definition of arbiter elegantiarum in English:

arbiter elegantiarum

(also arbiter elegantiae)

Pronunciation /ˌärbədər ˌeləɡanSHēˈärəm/ /ˌɑrbədər ˌɛləɡænʃiˈɑrəm/


  • A judge of artistic taste and etiquette.

    ‘And I believe you feel yourself somehow empowered as an arbiter elegantiarum, but I could be wrong.’
    • ‘The Duke of Windsor was another undisputed arbiter elegantiarum for the whole civilized world.’
    • ‘Petronius, the man of sophisticated culture, arbiter elegantiarum, is a bundle of contradictions.’
    • ‘If this pronouncement had come from any other arbiter elegantiarum than Mr. Cohan we might have remained skeptical.’
    • ‘If he's defensive, that could be because not all his friends appreciate having an arbiter elegantiarum hanging around.’
    • ‘In the temple of the fashion designer who here in Italy is considered a celebrity and the arbiter elegantiarum, or master of taste, you would expect a stylish set up.’
    • ‘He acted as ‘director of elegance’, or arbiter elegantiarum, where he had the last word on matters of taste and style.’
    • ‘The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, arbiter elegantiae of the film world, owes much of the motivation for its birth to the leading independents of the day.’
    • ‘Petronius is traditionally identified with Gaius Petronius Arbiter, ‘judge of elegance’ (arbiter elegantiarum) at the court of Nero.’
    • ‘He served as governor of Bithynia and as consul after which Nero appointed him arbiter elegantiae (arbiter of elegance).’
    • ‘In a note to Mason's ‘Epistle to Shebbeare’ he is dubbed ‘the Petronius of the present age’, no doubt a reference to his love of fine art just as Petronius was in his day the arbiter elegantiae; a man of undisputed taste.’
    • ‘Gaius Petronius, the author of the Satyricon, was the emperor Nero's advisor in matters of luxury and extravagance (his unofficial title was arbiter elegantiae).’
    adjudicator, arbiter, assessor, evaluator, appraiser, examiner, moderator


Latin, ‘judge of elegance’, used by Tacitus to describe Petronius, Gaius, arbiter of taste at Nero's court.