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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

masc. proper name, from German, literally "protection through victory," from Old High German sigu "victory" (see Siegfried) + munt "hand, protection," from PIE *man- "hand" (see manual (adj.)).


Sigismund (variants: Sigmund, Siegmund) is a German proper name, meaning "protection through victory", from Old High Germansigu "victory" + munt "hand, protection". Tacitus Latinises it Segimundus. There appears to be an older form of the High German word "Sieg" (victory): sigis, obviously Gothic and an inferred Germanic form, and there is a younger form: sigi, which is Old Saxon or Old High Germansigu (both from about 9th century). A 5th century Prince of Burgundy was known both as Sigismund and Sigimund (see Ernst Förstemann, Altdeutsche Personennamen, 1906; Henning Kaufmann, Altdeutsche Personennamen, Ergänzungsband,1968).

A Lithuanian name Žygimantas, meaning "wealth of (military) campaign", from Lithuanianžygis "campaign, march" + manta "goods, wealth" has been a substitution of the name Sigismund in the Lithuanian language, from which it was adopted by the Ruthenian language as Жыгімонт (such are the cases of Sigismund Kestutaitis, Sigismund Korybut, Sigismund I the Old, Sigismund II Augustus). The Polish spelling is Zygmunt, and the Croatian variant is Žigmund.

Sigismund was the name of various European rulers:

  • Saint Sigismund of Burgundy (died 523), King of the Burgundians
  • Sigismund I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau (died 1405)
  • Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor (1368–1437), also King of Hungary and King of Bohemia
  • Sigismund Kęstutaitis (c. 1365–1440), Grand Duke of Lithuania
  • Sigismund Korybut (c. 1395-c. 1435), Lithuanian duke who participated in Hussite Wars
  • Sigismund II, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau (died after 22 May 1452)
  • Sigismund, Archduke of Austria (1427–1496), ruler of Further Austria
  • Sigismund of Bavaria (1439–1501), Duke of Bavaria
  • Sigismund I the Old (1467–1548), King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania
  • Sigismund von Herberstein (1486–1566), Carniolan diplomat, writer, historian and member of the Holy Roman Empire Imperial Council
  • Sigismund II Augustus (1520–1572), King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania
  • Sigismund of Brandenburg (1538–1566), Prince-Archbishop of Magdeburg and Administrator of the Prince-Bishopric of Halberstadt
  • Sigismund Rákóczi (died 1608), briefly Prince of Transylvania
  • Sigismund III Vasa (1566–1632), King of Sweden (as Sigismund) and Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania
  • Sigismund Báthory (1572–1613), Prince of Transylvania
  • Sigismund Francis of Austria (1630–1665), ruler of Further Austria
  • Prince Sigismund of Prussia (1864-1866)
  • Prince Sigismund of Prussia (1896–1978)
  • Ishak Bey Kraloğlu or Sigismund of Bosnia (born sometime in the 1450s?), son of King Stephen Thomas of Bosnia
  • Archduke Sigismund, Grand Duke of Tuscany (born 1966)

Others named Sigismund include:

  • Sigismund Albicus (c. 1360–1427), Roman Catholic Archbishop of Prague
  • Sigismund Bachrich (1841–1913), Hungarian composer, violinist and violist
  • Sigismund Payne Best (1885–1978), British secret agent during the First and Second World Wars
  • Sigismund von Braun (1911–1998), German diplomat and Secretary of State
  • Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), Austrian founder of psychoanalysis born Sigismund Schlomo Freud
  • Sigismund Gelenius (1497–1554), eminent Greek scholar and humanist
  • Sigismund von Götzen (1576–1650), German diplomat and politician
  • Sigismund Ernst Hohenwart (1745–1825), Bishop of Linz
  • Sigismund Koelle (1820–1902), German missionary and pioneer scholar of African languages
  • Sigismund Ernst Richard Krone (1861–1917), German naturalist, zoologist, spelunker, archaeologist and researcher
  • Sigismund von Neukomm (1778–1858), Austrian composer and pianist
  • Sigismund Felix Freiherr von Ow-Felldorf (1855–1936), Bishop of Passau
  • Sigismund von Reitzenstein (1766–1847), first minister of state of the Grand Duchy of Baden
  • Sigismund von Schlichting (1829–1909), Prussian general and military theorist
  • Sigismund von Schrattenbach (1698–1771), Archbishop of Salzburg
  • Sigismund Streit (1687–1775), German merchant and art patron in Venice
  • Sigismund Zaremba (1861–1915), Ukrainian and Russian composer
  • Sigismund Zinzan, an equerry to Queen Elizabeth I of England

Sigismund may also refer to fictional characters:

  • Segismundo, main character of Calderón de la Barca's La vida es sueño.
  • Segismundo, 21st-century hero of the dramatic novel "United States of Banana" by Giannina Braschi, based on Calderón de la Barca's ''Life is a Dream.
  • Sigismund, a character from the Warhammer 40,000 game series, First Captain of the Imperial Fists Legion and later founder and first High Marshall of the Black Templars Chapter
  • Wilhelm Gottsreich Sigismond von Ormstein, Grand Duke of Cassel-Felstein, fictional King of Bohemia in " A Scandal in Bohemia" (Sherlock Holmes adventure)
  • Sigismund the mad maths teacher, a character in the Nigel Molesworth school stories

Other things named Sigismund:

  • Sigismund Bell, a famous bell in the Wawel Cathedral in Kraków, cast in 1520

Usage examples of "sigismund".

Regularly at half-past four Mama would ask Sigismund if she might leave me, Oskar, in his care, for it was getting late and she still had a few important errands.

Mama, for her part, followed a part of the advice Sigismund Markus had given her in Arsenal Passage and continued to repeat every Thursday.

Only when it was all over and the condolences started, did I notice Sigismund Markus.

Then, without regard for the ivy, he ran to the elms, catching up with Sigismund Markus before the exit.

I told her at once: November 9, 1938, for that was the day when I lost Sigismund Markus, who had kept me supplied with drums.

Herbert Truczinski, who assuredly knew where they had buried Sigismund Markus -- though I never asked him about it -- was delighted, almost beside himself with joy, when late in November, just after I was discharged from the hospital, he found an opportunity to hand me the telltale cartridge case.

The son of Christopher, Sigismund Battori, shook off the Turkish bondage, defeated many of their armies, slew some of their pashas, and gained the title of the Scanderbeg of the times in which he lived.

The pension not being well paid, Sigismund made another resignation of his principality to his cousin Andrew Battori, who had the ill luck to be slain within the year by the vaivode of Valentia.

But the Transylvania soldiers did not take kindly to a foreign prince, and behaved so unsoldierly that Sigismund was called back.

But finding Prince Sigismund in possession of the most territory and of the hearts of the people, the earl thought it best to assist the prince against the Turk, rather than Busca against the prince.

This patent, therefore, was not given at Alba Julia, nor until Prince Sigismund had finally left his country, and when the Emperor was, in fact, the Prince of Transylvania.

Smith says that Prince Sigismund also gave him his picture in gold, and granted him an annual pension of three hundred ducats.

This promise of a pension was perhaps the most unsubstantial portion of his reward, for Sigismund himself became a pensioner shortly after the events last narrated.

The last mention of Sigismund by Smith is after his escape from captivity in Tartaria, when this mirror of virtues had abdicated.

After Smith had his purse filled by Sigismund he made a thorough tour of Europe, and passed into Spain, where being satisfied, as he says, with Europe and Asia, and understanding that there were wars in Barbary, this restless adventurer passed on into Morocco with several comrades on a French man-of-war.