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

  • Italian noble family that produced three popes (Leo X, Clement VII, and Leo XI) and two queens of France (Catherine de Médicis and Marie de Médicis). Cosimo "the Elder” (1389-1464) was the first of the family to rule Florence. Lorenzo "the Magnificent” (1449-1492) was an outstanding patron of learning and the arts, whose clients included Michelangelo and Botticelli.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. aristocratic Italian family of powerful merchants and bankers who ruled Florence in the 15th century


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Leopoldo de’ Medici, and in the middle of the hall the celebrated +Medici Vase+ (339), with the sacrifice of Iphigenia in relief, by a Greek sculptor.

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  • There was once a time when her uncle, Father Girolamo, could not even utter the name of Medici without choking on his own bile, so abhorrent was the legacy of that family to him and his ancestors.

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  • This libellous insinuation against the admittedly speckless virtue of the Venus de Medici is about the only clear case of médisance which I have so far been able to discover!

    Maria Edgeworth

  • In Lorenzo’s garden there is a statue from ancient Rome that is called the Medici Venus.

    The Poet Prince

  • Mr. Medici was sentenced in Italy in 2004 to 10 years in prison for dealing in stolen artifacts, and the photo collection is now known as the Medici archive.

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  • He openly cursed Lorenzo from the pulpit now, calling the Medici tyrants and predicting their downfall at the hands of an angry God.

    The Poet Prince

  • Seats were always saved in the front pews for the ruling elite, of which the Medici were the highest in rank.

    The Poet Prince

  • Our editor, Eddie, called Medici pictured and spoke with one of the very nice managers, Sarah Perleschi, a seven-year veteran of the restaurant.

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  • For more than a century the Medici were the greatest patrons of the Renaissance and led the rich bourgeoisie of Florence in fostering a brilliant development of culture.


  • If the lady in the first tale, for instance, had mistakenly supposed that the Medici were a new kind of dance or something to eat, she surely has been disabused.

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  • Ahhh. I didn't know that. He also uses 'medicean' a lot. Thanks!

    July 10, 2010

  • Maybe they are following the Italian standard of not pluralizing last names. But the adjective meaning "belonging to the Medici" is mediceo.

    July 10, 2010

  • I'm reading a bio of Lorenzo De'Medici and am curious as to the practice (at least in this book) of spelling the name "Medici" regardelss if it's being used to describe one Medici, two or more Medici, and/or something belonging to the or a Medici. Anyone??

    July 10, 2010