- noun a male member of a royal family, usually the son of a king or queen
- noun the title of the ruler of a small country such as Cambodia or Monaco
- acronym forPRojects IN Control Environment (written as PRINCE)
Origin & History of “prince”
A prince is etymologically someone who ‘takes first place’, hence a ‘leader’. The word comes via Old French prince from Latin princeps, a compound formed from prīmus ‘first’ (source of English prime) and capere ‘take’ (source of English captive, capture, etc). (German fürst ‘prince’ was derived from Old high German furist ‘first’, apparently in imitation of the Latin word.) The derivative princess (14th c.) was also acquired from Old French.