noun \ˈri(-ə)l-tē\

: members of a royal family

: an amount of money that is paid to the original creator of a product, book, or piece of music based on how many copies have been sold

: an amount of money that is paid by a mining or oil company to the owner of the land the company is using

plural roy·al·ties

Full Definition of ROYALTY

a :  royal status or power :  sovereignty
b :  a right or perquisite of a sovereign (as a percentage paid to the crown of gold or silver taken from mines)
:  regal character or bearing :  nobility
a :  persons of royal lineage
b :  a person of royal rank <how to address royalties — George Santayana>
c :  an elite class
:  a right of jurisdiction granted to an individual or corporation by a sovereign
a :  a share of the product or profit reserved by the grantor especially of an oil or mining lease
b :  a payment to an author or composer for each copy of a work sold or to an inventor for each item sold under a patent

Examples of ROYALTY

  1. It was an honor and a privilege to dine with royalty.
  2. On our wedding day, we were treated like royalty.

Origin of ROYALTY

Middle English roialte, from Anglo-French realté, roialté, from real
First Known Use: 14th century


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