AskDefine | Define duce

Dictionary Definition

duce n : leader; "Mussolini was called Il Duce"

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. captain, leader
  2. (il Duce) il Duce (nickname for Mussolini)

Old English




dūce weak f



ducere. Compare Aromanian ducu.



  1. to carry, to lead
    a duce de nas
    to lead by the nose
  2. to lead, to go
    drumul ăsta duce la casa mea
    this road leads to my house
  3. reflexive with accusative to go
    duc acasă
    I'm going home
  4. to die


Related terms

Extensive Definition

Duce is an Italian word meaning leader or the second, derived from Latin word dux of the same meaning, of which Duke is a derivation. Other Italian leaders whose names derive from dux are the Doges of Venice and Genoa, and the title of nobility duca ("duke").

History and usage

The title was used for the eighth time, by the king Vittorio Emanuele III in the 1915 , during World War I, the term was also used by Gabriele D'Annunzio as dictator of the self-proclaimed Italian Regency of Carnaro in 1923 and, more famously, by Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini; the painting "Il Duce", by Gerardo Dottori, indeed represents Mussolini. Due to Mussolini, it had become associated with Fascism and is no longer frequent in contemporary use other than in reference to Mussolini, and Italian speakers in general use other words for "leader".
The term was also applied to Rudolph Giuliani during his term as mayor of New York City (1994-2002), in reference to his Italian heritage and allegedly dictatorial management style.
The character played by Billy Connolly in the 1999 film The Boondock Saints was named Il Duce.
The late rocker Eldon Hoke, drummer and lead singer of the heavy metal band The Mentors, used the stage name "El Duce."
duce in Spanish: Duce
duce in Italian: Duce
duce in Japanese: ドゥーチェ
duce in Polish: Duce
duce in Chinese: Duce

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Mahdi, Simon Legree, absolute monarch, absolute ruler, all-powerful ruler, arrogator, autarch, autocrat, bell cow, bell mare, bellwether, born leader, caesar, charismatic leader, choirmaster, choragus, commissar, conductor, coryphaeus, czar, despot, dictator, disciplinarian, driver, file leader, forerunner, fugleman, hard master, inspired leader, leader, leader of men, martinet, messiah, oligarch, oppressor, pacemaker, pacesetter, pharaoh, precentor, ringleader, slave driver, standard-bearer, stickler, strong man, symphonic conductor, torchbearer, tyrant, usurper, warlord
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