Definition of sceptre in English:


(US scepter)


  • An ornamented staff carried by rulers on ceremonial occasions as a symbol of sovereignty.

    ‘imperial regalia of orb and sceptre’
    ‘a blue worker's smock is his robe of office, his sceptre a venerable hoe’
    • ‘In her left hand she carries the sceptre of state; in her right the orb.’
    • ‘Each was swathed in robes of black, and all carried the sceptre that befitted their station.’
    • ‘The roof is ornamented with three cherubs, representing England, Scotland and Ireland, supporting the royal crown and holding the sceptre, sword of state and ensign of knighthood.’
    • ‘Room after room of the Armoury reveals incredible riches, including the imperial crown, mace and sceptre of the Tsars.’
    • ‘As an act of humility, before a mass to which she had invited the poor, she gave the royal scepter to the most indigent and had the royal crown placed on his head.’
    baton, stick, staff, pole, bar, dowel, rod, stake


Middle English from Old French ceptre, via Latin from Greek skēptron, from skēptein (alteration of skēptesthai) ‘lean on’.