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

  • n. An officer of ancient Rome elected by the plebeians to protect their rights from arbitrary acts of the patrician magistrates.
  • n. A protector or champion of the people.
  • n. A raised platform or dais from which a speaker addresses an assembly.
  • n. The usually domed or vaulted apse of a basilica.
  • n. See gallery.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. an elected official in ancient Rome
  • n. a protector of the people
  • n. the domed or vaulted apse in a Christian church that houses the bishop’s throne
  • n. a place or an opportunity to speak, to express one's opinion, a platform

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An officer or magistrate chosen by the people, to protect them from the oppression of the patricians, or nobles, and to defend their liberties against any attempts that might be made upon them by the senate and consuls.
  • n. Anciently, a bench or elevated place, from which speeches were delivered; in France, a kind of pulpit in the hall of the legislative assembly, where a member stands while making an address; any place occupied by a public orator.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To regulate or manage by the authority of a tribune.
  • n. In Roman history, originally, a magistrate presiding over a tribe, or representing a tribe for certain purposes; specifically, a tribune of the people (tribunus plebis), an officer or magistrate chosen by the people, from the time of the secession (probably in 494 b. c.), to protect them from the oppression of the patricians or nobles, and to defend their liberties against any attempts upon them by the senate and consuls.
  • n. Hence, one who upholds or defends popular rights; a champion of the people. In this sense the word is used as the name of various newspapers.
  • n. In a Roman basilica, the raised platform at one end of the auditorium, frequently in a small addition of semicircular plan to the main structure, which formed the official station of the pretor; the tribunal; hence, in Christian churches of basilican plan, the throne of the bishop (which originally occupied the place of the pretor's seat), and the part of the church containing it; hence, again, in Italian churches generally, any apse or structure of apsidal form. See cut under basilica.
  • n. A raised seat or stand; a platform; a dais.
  • n. Specifically— The throne of a bishop. See def 1.
  • n. A sort of pulpit or rostrum where a speaker stands to address an assembly, as in the French chamber of deputies.

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

  • n. (ancient Rome) an official elected by the plebeians to protect their interests
  • n. the apse of a Christian church that contains the bishop's throne


Middle English, from Old French tribun, from Latin tribūnus, from tribus, tribe; see tribe.
French, from Old French, part of a church, speaking platform, from Old Italian tribuna, from Medieval Latin tribūna, alteration of Latin tribūnal; see tribunal.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin tribunus. (Wiktionary)


  • Note that the maniple of the centurial tribune is now at eighty percent strength, hence this maniple is usually assigned to kitchen duties.

    Draining the Swamps

  • As the maniple whose tribune is now promoted to centuriate staff is under-represented, a pro tempore candidate is selected to be the manipular sub-tribune.

    Draining the Swamps

  • -- "What is it you call the tribune?" cries M. Bonaparte

    Napoleon the Little

  • The pope and the sacred college had never been dazzled by his specious professions; they were justly offended by the insolence of his conduct; a cardinal legate was sent to Italy, and after some fruitless treaty, and two personal interviews, he fulminated a bull of excommunication, in which the tribune is degraded from his office, and branded with the guilt of rebellion, sacrilege, and heresy.

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • [Footnote *: The word tribune is used in Florence to designate any large niche.

    The South of France—East Half

  • “I presume it means the clause which appoints you to the command of the legions on the Euphrates, thus giving you legal immunity from prosecution now that your term as tribune has expired.”


  • Some of them had famous names, for example, on this particular morning, Antonius Hybrida, who was the second son of the great orator and consul Marcus Antonius, and who had just finished a term as tribune; he was a fool and a drunk, but protocol dictated he would have to be seen first.


  • That's what the tribune -- you know all the newspapers that are called the tribune?

    CNN Transcript Aug 5, 2002

  • The increase of prestige which this concession would bestow on the tribune was to be his reward for co-operation with the German Ambassador.

    New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 5, August, 1915

  • Clement the Sixth, who had approved his wisdom, punished his folly, and the so-called tribune was deposed, condemned for heresy, and excommunicated.

    Ave Roma Immortalis, Vol. 2 Studies from the Chronicles of Rome


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