noun em·pire \ˈem-ˌpī(-ə)r\

: a group of countries or regions that are controlled by one ruler or one goverment; especially : a group of countries ruled by an emperor or empress

: a very large business or group of businesses under the control of one person or company

Full Definition of EMPIRE

a (1) :  a major political unit having a territory of great extent or a number of territories or peoples under a single sovereign authority; especially :  one having an emperor as chief of state (2) :  the territory of such a political unit
b :  something resembling a political empire; especially :  an extensive territory or enterprise under single domination or control
:  imperial sovereignty, rule, or dominion
capitalized [Empire State, nickname for New York] :  a juicy apple with dark red skin that is a cross between a McIntosh apple and a Red Delicious apple

Examples of EMPIRE

  1. She built a tiny business into a worldwide empire.
  2. He controlled a cattle empire in the heart of Texas.

Origin of EMPIRE

Middle English, from Anglo-French empire, empirie, from Latin imperium absolute authority, empire, from imperare to command — more at emperor
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism


adjective Em·pire \ˈäm-ˌpir, ˈem-ˌpī(-ə)r\

Definition of EMPIRE

:  of, relating to, or characteristic of a style (as of clothing or furniture) popular in early 19th century France

Origin of EMPIRE

French, from (le premier) Empire the first Empire of France
First Known Use: 1860

Other Furniture and Woodworking Terms

appoint, credenza, mission, settee
EMPIRE Defined for Kids


noun em·pire \ˈem-ˌpīr\

Definition of EMPIRE for Kids

:  a group of territories or peoples under one ruler <the Roman empire>
:  a country whose ruler is called an emperor
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