adjective im·pe·ri·al \im-ˈpir-ē-əl\

: of or relating to an empire or an emperor

Full Definition of IMPERIAL

a :  of, relating to, befitting, or suggestive of an empire or an emperor
b (1) :  of or relating to the United Kingdom as distinguished from the constituent parts
(2) :  of or relating to the Commonwealth of Nations and British Empire
a :  sovereign
b :  regal, imperious
:  of superior or unusual size or excellence
:  belonging to the official British series of weights and measures — see weight table
im·pe·ri·al·ly \-ə-lē\ adverb

Examples of IMPERIAL

  1. a member of the imperial family
  2. <envisioned an imperial city that would rival the capitals of Europe for beauty and magnificence>

Origin of IMPERIAL

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin imperialis, from Latin imperium command, empire
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Government and Politics Terms

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



Definition of IMPERIAL

capitalized :  an adherent or soldier of the Holy Roman emperor
:  emperor
[French impériale; from the beard worn by Napoléon III] :  a pointed beard growing below the lower lip
:  something of unusual size or excellence

First Known Use of IMPERIAL

circa 1524

Other Fashion Terms

bodkin, chignon, cowlick, eau de toilette, pocket, pomander, tonsorial
IMPERIAL Defined for Kids


adjective im·pe·ri·al \im-ˈpir-ē-əl\

Definition of IMPERIAL for Kids

:  of or relating to an empire or its ruler <the imperial palace>
July 06, 2015
categorical Hear it
absolute or relating to a category
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