A duke is a member of the nobility, historically of highest rank below the monarch, and historically controlling a duchy. The title comes from the Latin Dux Bellorum, a term that ancient Roman chroniclers used to describe tribal Germanic and Celtic war leaders.
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A duke (male) or duchess (female) can be either a monarch ruling over a duchy or a member of the nobility, historically of highest rank below the monarch. The title comes from French duc, itself from the Latin dux, 'leader', a term used in republican Rome to refer to a military commander without an official rank (particularly one of Germanic or Celtic origin), and later coming to mean the leading military commander of a province.