Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The bearer of a gonfalon.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. one who bears the gonfalon
  • n. an official, particularly a chief magistrate of a mediaeval Italian republic; the bearer of the republic's gonfalon

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An officer at Rome who bears the standard of the Church.
  • n. The chief magistrate of any one of several republics in mediæveal Italy.
  • n. A Turkish general, and standard keeper.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The bearer of a gonfalon; a chief standard-bearer.
  • n. In the middle ages, the title of the chief magistrate of Florence and other Italian republics, elected by the people.

Etymologies

French, from Italian gonfaloniere, from gonfalone, gonfalon; see gonfalon.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • She had addressed it to Piero Soderini, the gonfalonier or leader, of the Republic of Florence.

    The Dragon’s Trail

  • He also ordered, that as it had been customary for the gonfalonier to sit upon the right hand of the rectors, he should in future take his seat in the midst of them.

    The History of Florence

  • The archbishop being with the gonfalonier, under pretense of having something to communicate on the part of the pope, addressed him in such an incoherent and hesitating manner, that the gonfalonier at once suspected him, and rushing out of the chamber to call assistance, found Jacopo di

    The History of Florence

  • Salvestro de 'Medici, gonfalonier, ended the admonitions, which were the basis of the Guelf terrorism, and a violent revolt of the ciompi (the poorest workmen) broke out.

    3. Florence

  • The various quarters of Rome organized a parade in which were thirteen floats led by the gonfalonier of the city and the magistrates, which passed from the Piazza Navona to the Vatican, accompanied by the strains of music.

    Lucretia Borgia According to Original Documents and Correspondence of Her Day

  • Belonging to an old patrician family, he devoted himself, like thousands of his class in Italy, to commerce, swelled his already substantial fortune, and rose to a position of great prominence and influence among his fellow-citizens, who on several occasions elected him gonfalonier.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 8: Infamy-Lapparent

  • His son Giacomo he appointed castellan of St. Angelo and gonfalonier of the Church, but refused him every higher dignity, although Venice enrolled him among its nobili and the King of Spain appointed him general of his army.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 7: Gregory XII-Infallability

  • That ended, the Pope receives from the hands of the Cardinal of San Clemente the splendid mantle of gonfalonier, and sets it about the duke's shoulders with the prescribed words: "May the Lord array thee in the garment of salvation and surround thee with the cloak of happiness."

    The Life of Cesare Borgia

  • Cesare stoops to kiss the Pope's feet, then rising, goes in his gonfalonier apparel, the cap upon his head, to take his place among the cardinals.

    The Life of Cesare Borgia

  • "Make you my gonfalonier?" he muttered, in consummate amusement.

    Love-at-Arms

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Comments

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  • "with promptitude" is almost a caricature of awful writing.

    October 9, 2009

  • The slatternly woman ran her guns out and returned the broadside with promptitude.

    "Door, indeed! you poor whey-faced drab, you dare to say the word door to me, a respectable woman, as Mister Tripes here knows me well, and have a score against me behind that there wery door as you disgraces, and as it's you as ought to be t'other side, you ought; for it's out of the streets as you come, well I knows, an' say another word, and I'll take that there bonnet off of your head, and chuck it into them streets and you arter it. O dear! O dear! that ever I should be spoke to like this here, and my master out o' work a month come Toosday, and this here gentleman standing by! But I'll set my mark on ye, if I get six months for it--I will!"

    Thus speaking, or rather screaming, and brandishing her baby, as the gonfalonier waves his gonfalon, the slatternly woman, swelling into a fury for the nonce, made a dive at Dorothea, which, but for the interposition of "this here gentleman," as she called the coalheaver, might have produced considerable mischief. That good man, however, took a deal of "weathering," as sailors say, and ere either of the combatants could get round his bulky person, the presence of a policeman at the door warned them that ordeal by battle had better be deferred till a more fitting opportunity. They burst into tears, therefore, simultaneously, and the dispute ended, as such disputes often do, in a general reconciliation, cemented by the consumption of much excisable fluid, some of it at the expense of the philanthropic coalheaver, whose simple faith involved a persuasion that the closest connection must always be preserved between good-fellowship and beer.

    After these potations, it is not surprising that the slatternly woman should have found herself, baby and all, under the care of the civil power at a police-station, or that Gentleman Jim and his ladye-love should have adjourned to sober themselves in the steaming gallery of a playhouse.

    G.J. Whyte-Melville, M. or N., Similia similibus curantur. Suggested by Wordnik as a citation for this word and turns out to be quite interesting, for a little while at least. As I quite enjoy Victorian novels this one might go on my reading list.

    October 9, 2009

  • One wielding a gonfalon. In mediaeval Florence, one of the highest offices in the city was the Gonfalonier of Justice, which I think is just the coolest title ever.

    August 14, 2008